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Molecular combing in the analysis of developmentally regulated amplified segments of Bradysia hygida

Author(s): K.J.R. Passos, S.Y. Togoro, S. Carignon, S. Koundrioukoff, A.-M. Lachages, M. Debatisse and M.A. Fernandez

Molecular combing technology is an important new tool for the functional and physical mapping of genome segments. It is designed to identify amplifications, microdeletions, and rearrangements in a DNA sequence and to study the process of DNA replication. This technique has recently been used to identify and analyze the dynamics of replication in amplified domains. In Bradysia hygida, multiple amplification initiation sites are predicted to exist upstream of the BhC4-1 gene. However, it has been impossible to identify them using the available standard techniques. The aim of this study was to optimize molecular combing technology to obtain DNA fibers from the polytene nuclei of the salivary glands of B. hygida to study the dynamics of DNA replication in this organism. Our results suggest that combing this DNA without prior purification of the polytene nuclei is possible. The density, integrity, and linearity of the DNA fibers were analyzed, fibers 50 to 300 kb in length were detected, and a 9-kb fragment within the amplified region was visualized usingbiotin detected by Alexa Fluor 488-conjugated streptavidin technique. The feasibility of physically mapping these fibers demonstrated in this study suggests that molecular combing may be used to identify the replication origin of the BhC4-1 amplicon.