Strand displacement amplification (9SDA) is an isothermal in vitro method of amplifying a DNA sequence prior to its detection. We have combined SDA with fluorescence polarization detection. A 5'-fluorescein-labelled oligodeoxynucleotide detector probe hybridizes to the amplification product that rises in concentration during SDA and the single- to double strand conversion is monitored through an increase in fluorescence polarization. Detection sensitivity can be enhanced by using a detector probe containing an EcoRI recognition sequence at its 5'-end that is not homologous to the target sequence. During SDA the probe is converted to a fully double-stranded form that specifically binds a genetically modified form of the endonuclease EcoRI which lacks cleavage activity but retains binding specificity. We have applied this SDA detection system to a target sequence specific for Mycobacterium tuberculosis.