A rapid and reliable PCR method for genotyping the ABO blood group Academic Article uri icon


  • The ABO blood group has been used extensively as a marker in population studies, epidemiology, and forensic work. However, until the cloning of the gene, it was not possible to determine the genotype of group A and B individuals without recourse to family studies. We have developed a method to determine the ABO genotype directly from human DNA using multiplex PCR and restriction enzyme analysis. Two PCR fragments spanning positions 258 and 700 of the cDNA sequence are amplified. The site at position 258 allows us to differentiate the O allele from the A and B alleles. The site at position 700 allows us to distinguish the B allele from the A and O alleles. Analysis at the two sites thus allows us to distinguish the three alleles. The multiplex PCR product is digested separately with four enzymes, two for each of the sites. The pair of enzymes for each site cut in a reciprocal fashion. Whereas one enzyme for each site is theoretically sufficient for genotyping, the use of complementary pairs of enzymes prevents the assignment of a false genotype as a result of false negative or partial digestion. This method is fast and reliable, does not rely on probing of blots, and should be widely applicable.

publication date

  • 1993