Oligonucleotide

From Academic Kids

Oligonucleotides are short sequences of nucleotides (RNA or DNA), typically with twenty or fewer base pairs. Oligonucleotides are often used as probes for detecting complementary DNA or RNA because they bind readily to their complements. Examples of procedures that use oligonucleotides are DNA microarrays, Southern blots, and fluorescent in situ hybridization (FISH).

Oligonucleotides composed of DNA (deoxyoligonucleotides) are often used in the polymerase chain reaction (PCR), a procedure that can be employed to amplify almost any piece of DNA. In this instance, the oligonucleotide is often referred to as a primer, or a short piece of DNA that binds to its complementary target sequence. This generates a place for a polymerase to bind and extend the primer by the addition of nucleotides to make a copy of the target sequence.

Oligonucleotides are often referred to as oligos, in "science slang".

See also

Template:Biosci-stub

Template:Nucleic acids

de:Oligonukleotid

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