A method for rapid and efficient detection of a target DNA or RNA sequence is provided. A primer having a 3'-hydroxyl group at one end and having a sequence of nucleotides sufficiently homologous with an identifying sequence of nucleotides in the target DNA is selected. The primer is hybridized to the identifying sequence of nucleotides on the DNA or RNA sequence and a reporter molecule is synthesized on the target sequence by progressively binding complementary nucleotides to the primer, where the complementary nucleotides include nucleotides labeled with a fluorophore. Fluorescence emitted by fluorophores on single reporter molecules is detected to identify the target DNA or RNA sequence.
STATEMENT REGARDING FEDERAL RIGHTS
This invention was made with government support under Contract No. W-7405-ENG-36 awarded by the U.S. Department of Energy. The government has certain rights in the invention.