in Biotechnology and its Applications by

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A DNA probe is a synthetic single stranded DNA molecule radioactively labeled that can recognize and bind specifically to a target DNA. The DNA probe is either long or short sequence of nucleotides and may bind to the entire or a small portion of the target DNA.

DNA being the genetic material of the living organisms contains genetic information that gives various characteristic features to the organism. The presence of a disease causing pathogen can be detected identifying a gene or a set a genes. Similarly, genetic defects can be diagnosed by identifying the altered/defective gene. The molecular probe pairs with the target DNA sequence. The sequence of nucleotides can be identified from the sequence of DNA probe.