We have shown that DNA may be prepared from a single hair root and detected after pulsed-field electrophoresis. Smallersized DNAs (e.g. < 20 kb) may be analyzed on conventional submarine gels using the same sample preparation method as the above analysis. Based on earlier analyses using 40 hair roots, we estimate that a single hair yielded 0.1-0.2 micrograms total genomic DNA. Conventional phenol/chloroform extraction procedures typically result in substantial loss of DNA. It is possible that other small biological structures, both plant and animal in origin, could be analyzed using the agarose block method described here.
This work was supported by the Leukemia Research Fund of the United Kingdom. The probes were kindly provided by Professor A. Jeffreys and Dr. N. Spurr.
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