The most common application of the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) IS to exponenttally amplify a specific known and predictable sequence from a complex mixture of nucleic acids. This chapter describes a technique that, in contrast, uses PCR with arbitrary primers, to generate a fingerprint of PCR products from complex mixtures of nucleic acids and identify sequence polymorphisms and other differences that distinguish them. This robust and reproducible technique can amplify discrete sets of DNA fragments. When genomic DNAs from different individuals are compared, these differences represent point mutations and variously sized deletions and insertions When different sources of RNA are examined from an isogenic source, differences in the particular set of DNA fragments amplified represent differentially expressed genes.
Woodford, N., Johnson, A., Ralph, D., & McClelland, M. (2003). Arbitrarily Primed PCR Methods for Studying Bacterial Diseases. In Molecular Bacteriology (pp. 83–102). Humana Press. https://doi.org/10.1385/0-89603-498-4:83