Extracting Haplotypes from Diploid Organisms
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Each diploid organism has two alleles at every gene locus. In sexual organisms such as most plants, animals and fungi, the two alleles in an individual may be genetically very different from each other. DNA sequence data from individual alleles (called a haplotype) can provide powerful information to address a variety of biological questions and guide many practical applications. The advancement in molecular technology and computational tools in the last decade has made obtaining large-scale haplotypes feasible. This review summarizes the two basic approaches for obtaining haplotypes and discusses the associated techniques and methods. The first approach is to experimentally obtain diploid sequence information and then use computer algorithms to infer haplotypes. The second approach is to obtain haplotype sequences directly through experimentation. The advantages and disadvantages of each approach are discussed. I then discussed a specific example on how the direct approach was used to obtain haplotype information to address several fundamental biological questions of a pathogenic yeast. With increasing sophistication in both bioinformatics tools and high-throughput molecular techniques, haplotype analysis is becoming an integrated component in biomedical research.
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