Robust and accurate single nucleotide polymorphism genotyping by dynamic allele-specific hybridization (DASH): design criteria and assay validation

Genome Res. 2001 Jan;11(1):152-62. doi: 10.1101/gr.150201.


We recently introduced a generic single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) genotyping method, termed DASH (dynamic allele-specific hybridization), which entails dynamic tracking of probe (oligonucleotide) to target (PCR product) hybridization as reaction temperature is steadily increased. The reliability of DASH and optimal design rules have not been previously reported. We have now evaluated crudely designed DASH assays (sequences unmodified from genomic DNA) for 89 randomly selected and confirmed SNPs. Accurate genotype assignment was achieved for 89% of these worst-case-scenario assays. Failures were determined to be caused by secondary structures in the target molecule, which could be reliably predicted from thermodynamic theory. Improved design rules were thereby established, and these were tested by redesigning six of the failed DASH assays. This involved reengineering PCR primers to eliminate amplified target sequence secondary structures. This sophisticated design strategy led to complete functional recovery of all six assays, implying that SNPs in most if not all sequence contexts can be effectively scored by DASH. Subsequent empirical support for this inference has been evidenced by approximately 30 failure-free DASH assay designs implemented across a range of ongoing genotyping programs. Structured follow-on studies employed standardized assay conditions, and revealed that assay reproducibility (733 duplicated genotypes, six different assays) was as high as 100%, with an assay accuracy (1200 genotypes, three different assays) that exceeded 99.9%. No post-PCR assay failures were encountered. These findings, along with intrinsic low cost and high flexibility, validate DASH as an effective procedure for SNP genotyping.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Alleles*
  • DNA / chemistry
  • DNA / genetics
  • DNA Primers / chemical synthesis
  • Genetic Carrier Screening / methods
  • Genotype
  • Guidelines as Topic
  • Homozygote
  • Humans
  • Nucleic Acid Conformation
  • Nucleic Acid Hybridization / methods*
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction / methods
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction / standards
  • Polymorphism, Restriction Fragment Length
  • Polymorphism, Single Nucleotide / genetics*
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Research Design / standards
  • Sensitivity and Specificity


  • DNA Primers
  • DNA