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What do the probe nucleotide sequences represent in a microarray? The nucleotide sequences in microarrays are short sequences from genes from a particular organism. Some microarrays contain entire genomes but more commonly an array would contain a small number of short nucleotide sequences from each gene in the organism. These sequences are long enough to bind cDNA from a sample. If the cDNA has a sequence that is an exact match to one of the sequences on the chip it will bind strongly to that sequence. If there is a small number of base differences between the two binding will occur, but less frequently.

View the animation below, then complete the quiz to test your knowledge of the concept.

1A microarray is a
A)ray of a small wavelength
B)a type of ultraviolet ray
C)an RNA probe used to identify viruses
D)an arrangement of oligonucleotide probes, closely arranged on a small solid support surface

2A microarray commonly contains _______ nucleotides.

3When interpreting the results of microarrays, the degree of hybridization between a given probe and an organism to be identified is measured by
A)turbidity read in a spectrophotometer
B)color intensity of an image produced by scanning with a laser beam
C)length of the probe formed
D)degree of agglutination

4When building a microarray, we know the sequence of the oligonucleotides, but not their position.

5Nucleotides are made to attach to the glass by a light activation reaction.

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