Combining the use of PCR and single-strand conformation polymorphisms (SSCP), nine sequences from the cucumber genome were successfully identified and cloned that encoded two well-conserved asparagine-proline-alanine (NPA) domain homologues to aquaporin genes. The sensitivity and detection efficiency of SSCP and restriction enzyme analysis for detecting DNA sequence variation were evaluated using similar-sized DNA fragments. The SSCP analysis was more sensitive and efficient for discriminating different clones than restriction enzyme analysis, although some sequence variation inside similar-sized DNA fragments could be identified by restriction analysis. Consideration of the results of SSCP analysis with DNA sequence information indicated that one or two base pair changes in the amplified regions could be detected. Moreover, the SSCP analysis results of genomic DNA PCR products that were amplified by degenerate primers can provide rough information about the number of member genes. If the SSCP bands of a cloned fragment (such as CRB7) did not have the corresponding bands from genomic DNA PCR products, that fragment might be a misamplified product. The PCR-based SSCP method with degenerate oligonucleotide primers should facilitate the cloning of member genes.
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Professor and corresponding author; email Todd_Wehner@NCSU.edu.