The present invention is directed to a method of sequencing a target nucleic acid molecule having a plurality of bases. In its principle, the temporal order of base additions during the polymerization reaction is measured on a molecule of nucleic acid. Each type of labeled nucleotide comprises an acceptor fluorophore attached to a phosphate portion of the nucleotide such that the fluorophore is removed upon incorporation into a growing strand. Fluorescent signal is emitted via fluorescent resonance energy transfer between the donor fluorophore and the acceptor fluorophore as each nucleotide is incorporated into the growing strand. The sequence is deduced by identifying which base is being incorporated into the growing strand.
This invention was made with funds provided by the U.S. Government under National Science Foundation Grant No. BIR8800278, National Institutes of Health Grant No. P412RR04224-11, and Department of Energy Grant No. 066898-0003891. The U.S. Government may have certain rights in this invention.