Background: Genetic diversity can help explain disease susceptibility and differential drug response. The most common type of variant is the single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP). We present a low-cost, high throughput assay for SNP genotyping.
Methods: The assay uses oligonucleotide probes covalently attached to fluorescently encoded microspheres. These probes are hybridized directly to fluorescently labeled polymerase chain reaction (PCR) products and the results are analyzed in a standard flow cytometer.
Results: The genotypes determined with our assay are in good agreement with those determined by TaqMan. The range of G/C content for oligonucleotide probes was 23.5-65% in the 17 bases surrounding the SNP. Further optimization of probe length and target concentration is shown to dramatically enhance the assay performance for certain SNPs. Using microspheres which have unique fluorescent signatures, we performed a 32-plex assay where we simultaneously determined the genotypes of eight different polymorphic genes.
Conclusions: We demonstrate, for the first time, the feasibility of multiplexed genotyping with suspension arrays using direct hybridization analyses. Our approach enables probes to be removed from or added to an array, enhancing flexibility over conventional chips. The ability to multiplex both the PCR preparation and the hybridization should enhance the throughput, cost, and speed of the assay.
Copyright 2000 Wiley-Liss, Inc.