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Abstract

Negative ion fast atom bombardment (FAB) mass spectroscopy is used for sequencing fully deprotected oligonucleotides, 5′-tritylated oligonucleotides and negatively charged protected oligonucleotides. The mass spectrometric bidirectional sequence analysis allows characterization of modified oligonucleotides, even those where all classical sequencing methods have so far failed. Examples from each class of compound are illustrated and the problems and methodology are discussed.