DNA Molecular combing is a fiber spreading technique that was discovered in 1994 in the Ecole Nationale Supérieure de Paris (ENS) and developed by A. Bensimon at the Pasteur Institute. Patents are co-owned by CNRS and Pasteur Institute, while biomedical applications have been licensed to a company called Genomic Vision.
The DNA Combing technique generates glass coverslips covered with long parallel DNA fragments (up to 2 Mb). These individual DNA molecules can then be analysed by classical optical microscopic methods and fluorescent dyes, for physical mapping or DNA replication studies (as shown here).
MONTPELLIER DNA COMBING FACILITY
IGMM CNRS UMR5535,
1919 route de Mende
email : firstname.lastname@example.org
The Montpellier DNA Combing Facility offers three types of services:
1. Production, quality control and distribution of silanized coverslips (Marjorie Drac, chemistry). Due to intellectual property rights, this service is currently accessible only to CNRS labs. The users agree to collectively contribute to the running costs of this service.
2. Teaching: practical courses are organized on a regular basis and students or post-docs can be hosted in the lab for gaining access to the technology, from surface silanization to DNA combing and image analysis. Contact us for more information.
3. Automated image analysis: the facility has developed software for the automatic and rigorous analysis of spread DNA fibers (Thierry Gostan, bioinformatics). The Facility offers this analysis as a service on a pay-per-image basis. In the near future, the software will be made available directly to the user.
DNA fiber image analysis using the proprietary IDeFIx software • Automatic DNA fiber identification • Fiber length & track length measurements • Fiber position & track position measurements
This information can then be used to derive salient features of chromosome replication dynamics (fork velocity, fork pausing, inter-origin distance …) or to study chromosomal rearrangements (microdeletions, amplifications…), with a better precision and reproducibility than if done manually.