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MODERN DNA SEQUENCING

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    1. MODERN DNA SEQUENCING

    3. What & Why, Ctd. Understanding a particular DNA sequence can shed light on a genetic condition and offer hope for the eventual development of treatment DNA technology is also extended to environmental, agricultural and forensic applications

    6. The Sanger Technique Uses dideoxynucleotides (dideoxyadenine, dideoxyguanine, etc) These are molecules that resemble normal nucleotides but lack the normal -OH group.

    7. Because they lack the -OH (which allows nucleotides to join a growing DNA strand), replication stops.

    8. The Sanger method requires Multiple copies of single stranded template DNA A suitable primer (a small piece of DNA that can pair with the template DNA to act as a starting point for replication) DNA polymerase (an enzyme that copies DNA, adding new nucleotides to the 3 end of the template A pool of normal nucleotides A small proportion of dideoxynucleotides labeled in some way ( radioactively or with fluorescent dyes)

    9. The template DNA pieces are replicated, incorporating normal nucleotides, but occasionally and at random dideoxy (DD) nucleotides are taken up. This stops replication on that piece of DNA The result is a mix of DNA lengths, each ending with a particular labeled DDnucleotide. Because the different lengths travel at different rates during electrophoresis, their order can be determined.

    12. Originally four separate sets of DNA, primer and a single different DD nucleotide were produced and run on a gel. Modern technology allows all the DNA, primers, etc to be mixed and the fluorescent labeled DDnucleotide ends of different lengths can be read by a laser. Additionally, the gel slab has been replaced by polymer filled capillary tubes in modern equipment This is the basis of the sequencer used at the Centre for Genomics and Proteomics in the School of Biological Sciences at the University of Auckland, as seen in the next slides.

    13. Step 1- Before submission for sequencing DNA purity & concentration is checked with the Nanodrop

    14. A Nanodrop readout of known concentration to be run as a control

    15. Step 2 -Samples are received and stored in the refrigerator and a request filed

    16. Cost? Cost is dependant on a number of factors but typically in 2003: Each tube of sample DNA costs $27 to run. An entire set of 96 tubes from one source (the capacity of the present equipment) costs $960. The methods used will readily analyze DNA fragments of 500-1000 bases in length, depending on the quality of DNA used Note the dye alone to run 5000 reactions costs $61,000

    17. Samples arrive in Eppendorf tubes

    18. Step 3 - paperwork. Each request is assigned a well in the sample tray and volumes of primers, water, dye, etc are calculated. A typical run has samples from a number of researchers

    19. Step 4- Samples are agitated then centrifuged in an Ultracentrifuge to be sure they are in the bottom of their Eppendorf tubes.

    20. Step 5 - Reagents, etc Each reaction requires several reagents: Specific primers for the DNA in question Fluorescent Dye attached to DD nucleotides (Big Dye) Deionised water DNA polymerase Additionally, a control sample of a known DNA is prepared so it can run at the same time as the experimental DNA

    22. Step 6 - Preparing the wells The Sample wells are loaded with DNA to be sequenced. Great care needs to be taken to ensure that each sample goes into its assigned well. Reagents are added (water, dye, primers) in required amounts The sample wells are spun to ensure that the DNA and reagents are mixed and at the bottom of the sample wells.

    23. Sample tray and micropipettor. Each tray holds 96 samples

    24. Step 7 - The samples are run through a cycle sequencing process to get the fluorescent dyes incorporated by the DNA. The DNA and reagents are alternately heated and cooled over a 2 1/2 hour period.

    25. Step 8 - Sample purification to get rid of extra dye and salts Unincorporated dye and salts can interfere with DNA analysis and need to be removed Samples are centrifuged, precipitated with 95% ethanol, centrifuged again, and drained The process is repeated with 70% ethanol Dry samples are either analyzed immediately or stored in the dark (light degrades the fluorescent dyes used) Just before sequencing formamide is added to ensure that the DNA remains linear

    26. Entering data from the record sheet into the Sequencer software programme

    27. Step 10- The sequencer is warmed up, reagents are refreshed and the sample tray is inserted

    28. Inside the sequencer

    29. The Sequencer Apparatus Each sample tray has 96 wells (1 per sample), and the analyzer (3100 model) has the capacity to analyze 16 wells at a time Robotic apparatus moves the sample tray so each of the 16 wells is in contact with a separate capillary tube filled with a polymer - this replaces a lane on an electrophoresis gel Labeled DNA from that well moves up the capillary tube, with smaller labeled fragments moving more quickly than longer ones

    30. The Sequencer, II A laser reads the fluorescent label on each fragment as it passes up the capillary tube It takes 4 hours to run 16 samples. The robotics then move the capillaries through a cleaning phase and move the tray of samples so the next 16 samples are processed. It takes 24 hours to process 96 samples. Electronic signals from the laser go to a sequencer programme and are converted into an electronic file of the code

    31. The Sequencer, III Ambiguous readings are indicated by an N Printouts of each record are checked for a pass or fail (failure may be due to degraded primer, insufficient DNA, etc) Records are stored in a computer drop box for electronic collection by university staff, or are mailed to off-campus customers

    33. A Sequence print-out from a control sample

    34. What Next? In some instances the section of DNA analyzed may be all that is needed for some research project In other cases the DNA fragments code is matched to overlapping sections of other fragments. This eventually can result in the entire genome of an organism. Matching is done by the use of sophisticated software The National Center for Biotechnology Information (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/) maintains a number of searchable public DNA databases Sequencing is starting to be done on gene chips, microarrays of known DNA segments- this area of study is evolving rapidly

    35. Acknowledgements

    36. References Campbell, N., Reece, J.B., 2002, Biology 6th ed., Benjamin Cummings, San Francisco Drlica, K., 1997, Understanding DNA & Gene Cloning, 3rd ed., John Wiley & Sons, NY Kreuzer, H., Massey, A., 2001, Recombinant DNA & Biotechnology, 2nd ed., ASM Press, Washington, DC Turner, P.C.,et.al., 1997, Instant Notes in Molecular Biology, Bios, Oxford www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/about/primer/genetics_molecular.html (slide 32), used by kind permission Photographs by L Macdonald, 2003

    37. The End- Or Just the Beginning? Compiled by Linda Macdonald For NCEA Biology A.S. 3.6 With support from the Royal Society Science, Mathematics &Technology Teacher Fellowship Scheme