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Ribotyping involves the fingerprinting of genomic DNA restriction fragments that contain all or part of the genes coding for the 16S and 23S rRNA. By digesting the genes with a specific restriction enzyme, fragments of different lengths are generated. By performing a Gel electrophoresis with the digested samples, the fragments can be visualised as lines on the gel, where larger fragments are close to the start of the gel, and smaller fragments further down. After blotting onto a matrix and probing, these lines form a unique pattern for each species and can be used to identify the origin of the DNA, almost like a barcode can identify a product. Conceptually, ribotyping is similar to probing restriction fragments of chromosomal DNA with cloned probes (randomly cloned probes or probes derived from a specific coding sequence such as that of a virulence factor).[1]

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  1. ^ Grimont, F., and P. A. Grimont. 1986. Ribosomal ribonucleic acid gene restriction patterns as potential taxonomic tools. Ann. Inst. Pasteur Microbiol. 137B:165–175