A process for mutation and polymorphism detection is described here that offers significant advances over current mutation detection systems and that has the potential to significantly enhance molecular genetic analysis of human disease. This novel process is referred to as glycosylase mediated polymorphism detection (GMPD) and exploits the use of highly specific DNA glycosylase enzymes to excise substrate bases incorporated into amplified DNA. Action of the glycosylase leaves the DNA with one or more specific abasic sites which can be cleaved by enzymatic or chemical means. The GMPD process permits detection of polymorphisms and mutations using fragment size analysis or solid phase formats. GMPD is particularly suitable for genotyping of single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) based markers and also permits efficient scanning of genes for unknown polymorphisms and mutations.