Restriction fragment length polymorphisms (RFLPs) were the
first type of molecular markers used in linkage studies. RFLPs
arise because mutations can create or destroy the sites
recognized by specific restriction enzymes, leading to
variations between individuals in the length of restriction
fragments produced from identical regions of the genome.
Differences in the sizes of restriction fragments between
individuals can be detected by Southern blotting with a probe
specific for a region of DNA known to contain an RFLP. The
segregation and meiotic recombination of such DNA polymorphisms
can be followed like typical genetic markers.RFLP analysis of a
family can detect the segregation of an RFLP that can be used to
test for statistically significant linkage to the allele for an
inherited disease or some other human trait of interest.