DNA probe (rus. ДНК-зонд) — a labeled DNA fragment, used for hybridisation with a specific fragment of DNA molecule. Helps to identify complementary nucleotide sequences.


At a temperature of 94-100°C DNA separates into two strands (denaturation), as complementary bonds between strands are destroyed. This process is reversible: at 65°C the structure of the double helix is restored through DNA hybridisation (renaturation). The processes of hybridisation occur between any single strands, if they are complementary to each other, i.e. DNA-DNA, RNA-RNA, DNA-RNA. Hybridisation is used in DNA microarrays where specific nucleic acid sequences in samples are detected by hybridisation with DNA probes. Fluorescently labeled probes are used for real-time PCR for quantitative detection of DNA in the analysed sample. In addition, the fluorescent probes are applied in fluorescence in situ hybridisation (FISH), a cytogenetic technique used to detect and localise specific DNA sequences on chromosomes. In nanotechnology DNA probes are used to create next-generation detection systems (DNA-nanochips).


  • Kurochkin Ilya N.
  • Naroditsky Boris S.
  • Nesterenko Lyudmila N.


  1. B. Glick, J. Pasternak. Molecular Biotechnology: Principles and Applications of Recombinant DNA. — 3rd ed. Sigma Publishing, 2003, 784 pp.
  2. DNA microarray // Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. — http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DNA_microarray (reference date: 12.12.2011).

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