Differential Display

Authored by: Yuh-Shuh Wang , Scott A. Harding , Chung-Jui Tsai

Handbook of Molecular and Cellular Methods in Biology and Medicine

Print publication date:  December  2011
Online publication date:  April  2016

Print ISBN: 9781420069389
eBook ISBN: 9781439881958
Adobe ISBN:


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Differential display (DD), as first described by Liang et al. 1 , 2 in 1992, is a reverse transcription (RT)–PCR-based method for rapid identification of differentially expressed genes. It offers several advantages over conventional methods, 3 such as differential screening of cDNA libraries and subtractive cDNA library preparation and screening (see Chapter 12). First, employing PCR reduces the amounts of starting RNA needed, and at the same time enables amplification of transcripts, thus permitting detection of lower abundance mRNA species that are frequently undetectable using hybridization-based methods (e.g., conventional subtractive library screening). Second, the entire DD procedure from RNA extraction to banding pattern detection can be completed in a few days, whereas hybridization signals from library construction and screening-based approaches routinely take weeks to obtain. Third, DD is not limited to pairwise comparisons and can be readily expanded to compare transcript profiles among multiple, closely related samples, thus allowing time-course studies or developmental gradients to be followed. Although it does not offer high throughput like DNA microarrays do (see Chapter 29), it is versatile and relatively inexpensive to set up and perform in most molecular biology labs.

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