Blackett Family DNA Activity

Restriction Fragment Length Polymorphism analysis

In RFLP analysis,

RF stands for Restriction Fragments. Those are the fragments of DNA that were cut by restriction enzymes.

L stands for Length, and refers to the length of the restriction fragments.

P stands for Polymorphism, a Greek term that literally means "many shapes". The lengths of some of the restriction fragments differ greatly between individuals, thus there are many shapes, or lengths, of DNA possible.

Molecular biologists have identified regions of the human genome where restriction fragment lengths are highly variable between individuals. These regions are called RFLP markers. If you want to learn more details about these regions of highly variable DNA, visit our detailed description of VNTR, and, if you want to learn how Southern hybridization technique is used to analyze VNTR, visit our Southern hybridization technique tutorial.

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Revised: October 24, 2000
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