Nucleic Acid Hybridization
Process of creating a hybrid strand of DNA/RNA
The two strands of a DNA molecule are denatured by heating to
about 100°C = 212°F (a to b). At this temperature, the complementary base pairs that hold the double helix
strands together are disrupted and the helix rapidly dissociates into two
The DNA denaturation is reversible by keeping the two single stands of
DNA for a prolonged period at 65°C = 149°F (b to a). This process
is called DNA renaturation or hybridization.
Similar hybridization reactions can occur between any single stranded
nucleic acid chain: DNA/DNA, RNA/RNA, DNA/RNA. If an RNA transcript is introduced
during the renaturation process, the RNA competes with the coding DNA strand
and forms double-stranded DNA/RNA hybrid molecule (c to d).
These hybridization reactions can be used to detect and characterize
nucleotide sequences using a particular nucleotide sequence as a probe.