DropSynth, a one-pot approach to gene synthesis

A team of researchers at the University of California has found a way to synthesize multiple genes from a group of microarray-generated oligonucleotides. In their paper published in the journal Science, the group describes ...

New method for mass-producing high-quality DNA molecules

A new method of manufacturing short, single-stranded DNA molecules can solve many of the problems associated with current production methods. The new method, which is described in the scientific periodical Nature Methods, ...

New research tool targets microRNA expression in zebrafish

A new research tool for studying microRNA expression in zebrafish will help researchers study the effects of miRNA on the early development of this model organism and better understand developmental and disease mechanisms ...

A new gene silencing platform -- silence is golden

A team of researchers led by Rutgers' Samuel Gunderson has developed a novel gene silencing platform with very significant improvements over existing RNAi approaches. This may enable the development and discovery of a new ...

A new gene silencing platform -- silence is golden

A team of researchers led by Rutgers' Samuel Gunderson has developed a novel gene silencing platform with very significant improvements over existing RNAi approaches. This may enable the development and discovery of a new ...

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Oligonucleotide

An oligonucleotide (from Greek prefix oligo-, "having few, having little") is a short nucleic acid polymer, typically with fifty or fewer bases. Although they can be formed by bond cleavage of longer segments, they are now more commonly synthesized, in a sequence-specific manner, from individual nucleoside phosphoramidites. Automated synthesizers allow the synthesis of oligonucleotides up to about 200 bases.

Oligonucleotides are characterized by the sequence of nucleotide residues that comprise the entire molecule. The length of the oligonucleotide is usually denoted by "mer" (from Greek meros, "part"). For example, a fragment of 25 bases would be called a 25-mer. Oligonucleotides readily bind, in a sequence-specific manner, to their respective complementary oligonucleotides, DNA, or RNA to form duplexes or, less often, hybrids of a higher order. This basic property serves as a foundation for the use of oligonucleotides as probes for detecting DNA or RNA. Examples of procedures that use oligonucleotides include DNA microarrays, Southern blots, ASO analysis, fluorescent in situ hybridization (FISH), and the synthesis of artificial genes.

Oligonucleotides composed of 2'-deoxyribonucleotides (oligodeoxyribonucleotides) are fragments of DNA and are often used in the polymerase chain reaction, a procedure that can greatly amplify almost any small amount of DNA. There, the oligonucleotide is referred to as a primer, allowing DNA polymerase to extend the oligonucleotide and replicate the complementary strand.

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