Watermarking sexually reproducing diploid organisms
Summary: DNA watermarks are used for hiding messages or for authenticating genetically modified organisms. Recently, we presented an algorithm called DNA-Crypt for generating DNA-based watermarks that can be integrated into the genome by using the characteristics of the degenerative genetic code. DNA-Crypt generates the watermark by replacing single bases and thus creating synonymous codons that encrypt the hidden information. Mutations within the integrated DNA sequence can be corrected using several mutation correction codes, to keep the hidden information intact. This method has successfully been tested in asexually replicating organisms like bacteria or yeast, where the watermark is duplicated with every cell division. It has been shown that DNA watermarks produced by DNA-Crypt do not influence the transcription or translation of a protein. In sexually reproducing diploid organisms, additional problems can occur, e.g. recombination events can destroy hidden information. Using population predictions as well as statistical analyses we identified a coupled Y-chromosomal/mitochondrial DNA watermarking procedure as the most appropriate for diploid organisms. We developed a mitochondria adapted version of DNA-Crypt, which is called Project Mito that can be used in combination with the original program. Availability: http://www.uni-muenster.de/Biologie.NeuroVer/Tumorbiologie/DNA-Crypt/index.html Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Password: WWUTB Requirements: Java 5.0 or higher
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