Chromosome bar codes are multicolor banding patterns produced by fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) with differentially labeled and pooled sub-regional DNA probes. These molecular cytogenetic tools facilitate chromosome identification and the delineation of both inter- and intra-chromosomal rearrangements. We present an overview of the various conceptual approaches which can be largely divided into two classes: Simple bar codes designed for chromosome identification and complex bar codes for high resolution aberration screening of entire karyotypes. We address the issue of color redundancy and how to overcome this limitation by complementation of bar codes with whole chromosome painting probes.
Copyright 2006 S. Karger AG, Basel.