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Use of multiple displacement amplification to amplify genomic DNA before sequencing of the α and β haemoglobin genes
  1. M Mai,
  2. J D Hoyer,
  3. R F McClure
  1. Division of Hematopathology, Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathology, Mayo Clinic, Rochester 55905, USA
  1. Correspondence to:
 Dr R F McClure
 Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathology, Mayo Clinic, 200 First Street SW, Rochester, MN, 55905, USA;


Aims: To evaluate the technique of multiple displacement amplification (MDA) for whole genome amplification from small volume blood samples before sequencing in a clinical test to identify haemoglobin gene mutations.

Methods: Phage φ29 DNA polymerase was used to perform MDA, starting with either 1 μl of blood or 1 ng of previously isolated blood DNA from 23 patients. The amplified products were then evaluated using a clinical test that involves sequencing the haemoglobin genes to detect mutations. The results were compared with the current clinical test method that uses genomic DNA isolated using column based technology.

Results: The MDA technique produced large quantities (theoretically approximately 2 mg) of DNA. The amplification procedure was extremely easy and took about four hours (less than one hour of hands on technician time and three hours for amplification). When MDA products were used in the same clinical test protocol as genomic DNA isolated using column technology, there was 100% concordance for detection of a variety of point mutations in the α1, α2, and β globin genes.

Conclusions: The MDA technique is useful for overcoming the problem of insufficient genomic DNA in clinical specimens requiring haemoglobin gene sequencing and could be useful for other clinical applications.

  • haemoglobin genes
  • sequencing
  • whole genome amplification
  • multiple displacement amplification
  • MDA, multiple displacement amplification
  • PCR, polymerase chain reaction

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