Polymerase Chain Reaction

Basic Principles and Routine Practice
  • Lori A. Kolmodin
  • David E. Birch
Part of the Methods in Molecular Biology™ book series (MIMB, volume 192)


The polymerase chain reaction (PCR) is a primer-mediated enzymatic amplification of specifically cloned or genomic DNA sequences (1). This PCR process, invented more than a decade ago, has been automated for routine use in laboratories worldwide. The template DNA contains the target sequence, which may be tens or tens of thousands of nucleotides in length. A thermostable DNA polymerase such as Taq DNA polymerse, catalyzes the buffered reaction in which an excess of an oligonucleotide primer pair and four deoxynucleoside triphosphates (dNTPs) are used to make millions of copies of the target sequence. Although the purpose of the PCR process is to amplify template DNA, a reverse transcription step allows the starting point to be RNA (2-5).


Polymerase Chain Reaction Polymerase Chain Reaction Product Polymerase Chain Reaction Amplification Polymerase Chain Reaction Cycle Polymerase Chain Reaction Process 
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Copyright information

© Humana Press Inc. 2002

Authors and Affiliations

  • Lori A. Kolmodin
    • 1
  • David E. Birch
    • 2
  1. 1.Roche Molecular SystemsPleasanton
  2. 2.Roche Molecular SystemsAlameda

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