Called Microarray-based Genomic Selection (MGS), the research protocol allows scientists to extract and enrich specific large-sized DNA regions, then compare genetic variation among individuals using DNA resequencing methods.
MGS uses DNA oligonucleotides (probes) arrayed on a chip at high density (microarray) to directly capture and extract the target region from the genome. The probes are chosen from the reference human genome and are complementary to the target to capture. Once the target is selected, resequencing arrays or other sequencing technologies can be used to identify variations. The Emory scientists believe MGS will allow them to easily compare genetic variation among a number of individuals and relate that variation to health and disease.
"The human genome project focused on sequencing just one human genome - an amazing technological feat that required a very large industrial infrastructure, hundreds of people and a great deal of money," says Dr. Michael Zwick, PhD, assistant professor of human genetics at Emory University School of Medicine. "The question since then has been, can we replicate the ability to resequence parts of the genome, or ultimately the entire genome, in a laboratory with a single investigator and a small staff" The answer is now 'yes.'"
Other methods for isolating and studying a particular region of the genome, such as PCR and BAC cloning (bacterial artificial chromosomes) are comparatively labor intensive, difficult for single laboratories to scale to large sections of the genome, and relatively expensive, says Dr. Zwick.
Whereas typical microarray technology measures gene expression, MGS is a novel use of microarrays for capturing specific genomic sequences. For the published study, a third type of microarray - a resequencing array - was used to determine the DNA sequence in the patient samples.
MEDICA.de; Quelle: Emory University