Bacteriophage strain typing by rapid single molecule analysis.

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Abstract

Rapid characterization of unknown biological samples is under the focus of many current studies. Here we report a method for screening of biological samples by optical mapping of their DNA. We use a novel, one-step chemo-enzymatic reaction to covalently bind fluorophores to DNA at the four-base recognition sites of a DNA methyltransferase. Due to the diffraction limit of light, the dense distribution of labels results in a continuous fluorescent signal along the DNA. The amplitude modulations (AM) of the fluorescence intensity along the stretched DNA molecules exhibit a unique molecular fingerprint that can be used for identification. We show that this labelling scheme is highly informative, allowing accurate genotyping. We demonstrate the method by labelling the genomes of λ and T7 bacteriophages, resulting in a consistent, unique AM profile for each genome. These profiles are also successfully used for identification of the phages from a background phage library. Our method may provide a facile route for screening and typing of various organisms and has potential applications in metagenomics studies of various ecosystems.

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  • Biophysics
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)e117
JournalNucleic Acids Research
Volume43
Issue number18
Publication statusPublished - 2015
Publication categoryResearch
Peer-reviewedYes