Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository


Doctor of Philosophy




Prof. Robert Hudson


Since most of human diseases are related to genetic mutations, during the past two decades, identification of such mutations has attracted much attention. Detection of these mutations is mainly based hybridization with the complementary reporter probes.

Nucleic acids detection takes place by changing either the reporter’s fluorescence intensity or the colour of its fluorescence. The use of fluorescent probes for nucleic acid detection has attracted much attention due to its efficiency, the ease of synthesis and availability of commercial reporters that facilitates the probe synthesis. Nowadays, most of nucleic acid detection using fluorescent probes relies on quenching of fluorescence by energy transfer from one fluorophore to another or to nonfluorescent molecule (quencher). The most common, widely used, quencher in fluorescent probes is 4-(N,N-dimethylamino)azobenzene-4'-carboxylic acid (DABCYL).

The goal of this thesis was to introduce new quenchers which structurally mimic the universal quencher DABCYL into peptide nucleic acid (PNA), DNA and RNA probes. These quenchers are also characterized by their ability to undergo photoisomerization upon illumination with light.