Genome of species D
Genes 1 and 8 are consistently linked.
Conclusion: Genes 4 and 5 may be functionally related.
4 19.17 The gene neighbor method infers gene function on the basis of the linkage arrangements of the genes. Genes that are consistently linked in different genomes may be functionally related.
Many important clues about gene function come from knowing when and where the genes are expressed. The development of microarrays has allowed the expression of thousand of genes to be monitored simultaneously.
Microarrays rely on nucleic acid hybridization (see Chapter 18), in which a known DNA fragment is used as a probe to find complementary sequences (IFigure 19.18). The probe is usually fixed to some type of solid support, such as a nylon filter or a glass slide. A solution containing a mixture of DNA or RNA is applied to the solid support; any nucleic acid that is complementary to the probe will bind to it. Nucleic acids in the mixture are labeled with a radioactive or fluorescent tag so that molecules bound to the probe can be easily detected.
In a microarray (also called a gene chip), numerous known DNA fragments are fixed to a solid support in an orderly pattern or array, usually as a series of dots. These DNA fragments (the probes) usually correspond to known genes.
When the microarray has been constructed, mRNA, DNA, or cDNA isolated from experimental cells is labeled with fluorescent nucleotides and applied to the array. Any of the DNA or RNA molecules that are complementary to probes on the array will hybridize with them and emit fluo-
| A microarray consists of DNA probes fixed to a solid support, such as a nylon membrane or glass slide.
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