Fluorescein-labeled oligonucleotide probes can be used to continuously monitor the polymerase chain reaction. Depending on the sequence, the fluorescence intensity of the probe is either increased or decreased by hybridization. The greatest effect is probe quenching by hybridization to amplicons containing deoxyguanosine nucleotides (Gs), giving a sequence-specific decrease in fluorescence as product accumulates. Quenching of the probes by Gs is position dependent. A 25% decrease in fluorescence of 5'-labeled probes was observed with a G at the first position of the 3'-dangling end. Additional Gs can increase quenching to about 40%. This change in fluorescence with hybridization allows real-time quantification and mutation detection with a simple single labeled probe. Quantification of the initial template copy number is possible by monitoring fluorescence at each cycle at a constant temperature. Mutation detection by Tm estimates from melting curve analysis for factor V Leiden, hemoglobin C, hemoglobin S, the thermolabile mutation of methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase, and the cystic fibrosis-associated deletion F508del is demonstrated. By using the inherent quenching of deoxyguanosine nucleotides in the amplicon, complicated probe designs involving internal quenching can be avoided.