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Terminal restriction fragment length polymorphism

Terminal Restriction Fragment Length Polymorphism (TRFLP or sometimes T-RFLP) is a molecular biology technique initially developed for characterizing bacterial communities in mixed-species samples. The technique has also been applied to other groups including soil fungi.

The technique works by PCR amplification of DNA using primer pairs that have been labeled with fluorescent tags. The PCR products are then digested using RFLP enzymes and the resulting patterns visualized using a DNA sequencer. The results are analyzed either by simply counting and comparing bands or peaks in the TRFLP profile, or by matching bands from one or more TRFLP runs to a database of known species.

The technique is similar in some aspects to DGGE or TGGE.


  • Liu, W.T., T.L. Marsh, H. Cheng and L.J. Forney. 1997. Characterization of microbial diversity by determining terminal restriction fragment length polymorphisms of genes encoding 16S rRNA. Appl. Environ. Microbiol. 63:4516-4522.
  • Marsh, T.L. 1999. Terminal restriction fragment length polymorphism (T-RFLP): an emerging method for characterizing diversity among homologous populations of amplification products. Current Opinion in Microbiology. 2:323-327.

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Terminal_restriction_fragment_length_polymorphism". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.
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