Artifactual variation in randomly amplified polymorphic DNA banding patterns

Biotechniques. 1993 Feb;14(2):214-7.


Randomly amplified polymorphic DNA (RAPD) and arbitrarily primed PCR (AP-PCR) represent novel DNA polymorphism assays that involve the amplification of random DNA segments using PCR and oligonucleotide primers of arbitrary sequence. Products defining the polymorphisms exhibit Mendelian inheritance and thus possess tremendous potential utility as genetic markers in a diverse array of scientific disciplines. Amplification profiles for specific oligonucleotide primers are highly dependent on the specific conditions of the reaction; banding patterns may thus vary extensively because of inconsistencies in a number of reaction parameters. Artifactual variation represents a potential problem in surveys of genetic variation in natural populations and must be discriminated from true polymorphism for the applications of RAPD to be both accurate and reliable.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Base Sequence
  • DNA / chemistry
  • DNA / genetics*
  • False Positive Reactions
  • Magnesium / pharmacology
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Polymorphism, Genetic*
  • Temperature


  • DNA
  • Magnesium