Dictionary of Human Evolution and Biology

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Restriction fragment length polymorphism; fragments of DNA produced by enzymes (endonucleases) found in certain single-celled organisms (e.g. Eco1; see EcoR1); when introduced in vitro into a sample of human DNA, for example, the enzyme cuts the DNA at specific restriction sites into fragments of variable numbers and lengths, depending upon the DNA sequence possessed by the individual from which the sample was obtained. The resulting sample, when compared by electrophoresis with other variants, becomes data that are part of the RFLP (pronounced rif lip).

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