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Electrophoresis. 1996 Jul;17(7):1183-9.

Northern blot analysis of simple repetitive sequence transcription in plants.

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Department of Biology, University of Frankfurt am Main, Germany.


The presence of simple repetitive sequence motifs in RNA from various plant species was probed by Northern blot analysis. Hybridization of total, poly(A)(+)- and poly(A)(-)-RNA with microsatellite-complementary oligonucleotide probes revealed distinct bands with most but not all probe/species combinations, demonstrating the presence of di-, tri- and tetranucleotide repeat motifs in plant transcripts. Only trinucleotide repeat-derived hybridization signals were found to be enriched in the poly(A)(+)-fraction. The quality of Northern blot signals proved to be highly dependent on hybridization stringency. Thus, under the stringency conditions usually applied for oligonucleotide hybridization, some probes [(GT)8, (CAC)5, (TCC)5, and (CCTA)4] cross-hybridized to bands corresponding in size to 18S and/or 26S rRNA. Cross-hybridization to rRNA was significantly reduced at higher stringencies. These results stress the importance of carefully adjusting the hybridization conditions in Northern blot analysis of simple sequence transcripts.

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