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N8080160

Product FAQ

What is "Hot-start" PCR?

Answer

Hot-start is a technique commonly used to improve the sensitivity and specificity of PCR amplifications. The major obstacle to obtaining highly sensitive and specific amplifications appears to be competing side reactions such as the amplification of non-target sequences (mis-priming) and primer oligomerization. In an otherwise optimized PCR amplification, most non-specific products can be attributed to pre-PCR mispriming. Mispriming can occur any time all components necessary for amplification are present at permissive temperatures (below optimal annealing temperature) such as during reaction set up. A hot start can be performed either manually or can be automated utilizing AmpliTaq Gold DNA Polymerase.

In the manual hot-start technique a key component necessary for amplification, such as the enzyme, is withheld from the reaction mix until the reaction reaches a temperature above the optimal annealing temperature of the primers. Once this temperature is reached, the missing component is added and the PCR amplification is allowed to proceed. Because a key component was withheld from the reaction at permissive temperatures, competing side reactions are minimized and specific amplification occurs.

AmpliTaq Gold™ DNA Polymerase facilitates the automation of the hot start technique and decreases the potential for contamination. AmpliTaq Gold DNA Polymerase is a modified form of AmpliTaq DNA Polymerase. Once activated, AmpliTaq Gold™ DNA Polymerase performs just as AmpliTaq DNA Polymerase does. Since it is provided in its inactive form, it can be added to a reaction without the fear of pre-PCR misprimed primers being extended. Once all of the components for amplification have been added to a tube, the reaction is heated to 95C for 5 - 10 minutes. This incubation activates the enzyme and allows the reaction to proceed normally.

Answer Id: E1098

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Product FAQ

What type of modifications does Life Technologies™ offer for my primers?

Answer

Please take a look at this list (https://www.thermofisher.com/us/en/home/products-and-services/product-types/primers-oligos-nucleotides/invitrogen-custom-dna-oligos/oligo-ordering-details/oligo-modification-options.html) of standard modification options that we offer. If you do not see the modification option you would like, please email our Technical Support team at techsupport@thermofisher.com to see if we can accommodate your request.

Answer Id: E7280

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Product FAQ

How do I calculate the melting temperature of my primers?

Answer

A common equation used to calculate primer Tm is as follows: Tm (in degrees C) = 2 (A+ T) + 4 (G + C)

Answer Id: E7281

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Product FAQ

Do AmpliTaq™ DNA Polymerase and AmpliTaq™ Gold™ DNA Polymerase add on extra A to the PCR product?

Answer

Both AmpliTaq Gold™ DNA polymerase and AmpliTaq™ DNA Polymerase lack proofreading activity, so they will often leave a 3'-overhang. The base most often left is a 3'-A, however, the extra base appears to be sequence dependent and one cannot always rely on the fact that even just a single base has been left. In many cases, this artifact has been useful with TA Cloning™ kits. In order to drive the reaction to the extra A state, a final extension time at 72°C should be increased to 15-30 minutes.

Answer Id: E1077

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Product FAQ

What are Value Oligos?

Answer

Value Oligos are the most cost-effective and fastest way to order oligos. They are available for 5-40-mers, at a 25 or 50 nanomole scale, with a range of purification options to suit your needs, and are eligible for next-day delivery. The cost is calculated per oligo as opposed to per base. Value Oligos are not available with modifications. Value Oligos undergo the same QC standards as our standard oligos with the same manufacturing process.

Answer Id: E7282

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Product FAQ

I received my primer order, but the yield is lower than the scale that I ordered. Why is this?

Answer

The scale that is ordered refers to the starting synthesis scale, or amount of starting material used to create your oligo. Based on purification and efficiency, you will receive less than the starting synthesis scale. However, we do have a minimum yield guarantee based on the starting synthesis scale which can be found here: https://www.thermofisher.com/us/en/home/products-and-services/product-types/primers-oligos-nucleotides/invitrogen-custom-dna-oligos/oligo-ordering-details/oligo-minimum-yield-guarantee.html.

Answer Id: E7293

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Product FAQ

There is a ball-shaped pellet at the bottom of my oligo tube. What is this and can I still use my oligo?

Answer

If the oligo was overheated, it will appear as a “ball”-shaped pellet attached to the bottom of the tube. This should not affect the quality of the oligo, and the oligo should be readily soluble in water.

Answer Id: E7300

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Product FAQ

I’m getting low yield of my desired fragment. What am I doing wrong and how can I increase my yield?

Answer

Please see our suggestions below to increase yield:

-Do not use a wooden toothpick to pick colonies or scoop out DNA from a gel prior to PCR. It has been reported that this technique can inhibit PCR. [Lee (1995) BioTechniques 18:225].
-Not enough enzyme was used.
-Denaturation/extension temperature was too high and enzyme died prematurely.
-Too much DMSO (>10%).
-Incorrect annealing temperature: run a series of reactions using different annealing temperatures, starting 5 degrees below the calculated Tm.
-Too few cycles.
-Insufficient or too much Mg2+.
-Poorly designed primers: double check primer sequence against template sequence, primers should have similar melting temperatures, avoid complementary sequences at the 3’ end of primers.
-Carryover inhibitors (e.g., blood, serum).
-Denaturation time was too short. Genomic and viral DNA can require denaturation times of 10 minutes.
-Not a long enough extension time was used depending on the size of product being amplified.
-Use of super-irradiated (treated with >2500 mj/cm2) mineral oil will either inhibit or decrease yield of PCR product [Dohner (1995) Biotechniques 18:964].
-Template had long runs of GC's [Woodford et al. (1995) Nucleic Acids Res 23:539 show that by eliminating all potassium from the amplification reactions, GC-rich regions in templates are sufficiently destabilized to allow PCR]. Alternatively, a combination of 1.0 M betaine with 6-8% DMSO or 5% DMSO with 1.2-1.8 M betaine can be used to amplify GC-rich templates [Baskaran (1996) Genome Res 6:633].
-Other inhibitors of Taq DNA polymerase were present (e.g., indigo dyes, heme, melanin, etc.). Add BSA to the PCR (~160-600 μg/mL), increase the amount of Taq, and/or increase the volume of the PCR to dilute out the inhibitor. The concentration of BSA to add may be dependent on the amount and type of inhibitor present. Additionally, fatty acid-free, alcohol-precipitated BSA, or Fraction V BSA all should be effective.

Answer Id: E7289

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Product FAQ

Why are HPLC or cartridge purification not offered for larger oligos?

Answer

As oligos increase in length, the column purification is less effective in separating the failure oligos from the correct products. PAGE purification would be the method of choice in this case.

Answer Id: E7283

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Product FAQ

When using AmpliTaq Gold™ DNA polymerase, under what conditions would one choose a two-temperature vs. three-temperature PCR?

Answer

A two-temperature PCR is commonly used when the primer annealing temperatures are above 60 degrees C. Use a three-temperature PCR when the templates have high G+C content and/or secondary structure, or desired primer annealing temperatures are below 60 degrees C. Please consult the Product Insert for more information on the use of AmpliTaq Gold™ DNA polymerase.

Answer Id: E1505

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Product FAQ

Why is coupling efficiency important?

Answer

Coupling efficiency is important as the effects are cumulative during DNA synthesis. The numbers below shows the effect of a 1% difference in coupling efficiency and how this influences the amount of full-length product available following synthesis of different length oligos. Even with a relatively short oligo of 20 bases, a 1% difference in coupling efficiency can mean 15% more of the DNA present following synthesis is full-length product.

Number of bases added, 99% coupling full-length, Failures, 98% coupling full-length, Failures:
- 1, 99, 1, 98, 2
- 2, 98.01, 1.99, 96.04, 2.96
- 3,97.03, 2.97, 94.12, 5.88
- 10, 90.44, 9.56, 81.71, 18.29
- 20, 81.79, 18.21, 66.76, 33.24
- 30, 73.79, 26.03, 54.55, 63.58
- 50, 60.5, 39.5, 36.42, 63.58
- 95, 38.49, 61.51, 14.67, 85.33

Answer Id: E7278

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Product FAQ

Does the fidelity of AmpliTaq™ DNA Polymerase change in the presence of base analogs?

Answer

The fidelity of this PCR enzyme is affected in two ways. First, AmpliTaq™ DNA Polymerase typically binds to and incorporates base analogs less efficiently than conventional dNTPs, which means that polymerase activity is lower in reactions that contain base analogs. Second, the analog may pair with more than one conventional complementary template base, so the analog may be incorporated at an increased level compared to conventional dNTPs. For the best fidelity, we recommend that base analogs are included at low concentrations in the reaction.

Answer Id: E1335

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Product FAQ

I just received my primers and they look yellow. Can I still use them?

Answer

Most of the time the color should not affect PCR or any other experimental application since typically it is caused by the iodine used in the synthesis. There are some exceptions, however. Brown oligos can also be caused by the primer being overdried, and if this is the case, the primer may not work.

Answer Id: E7298

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Product FAQ

If I choose mixed bases, e.g., GC, for my oligo manufacturing, will it be a 50/50 mix?

Answer

No, we do not guarantee 50/50 of mixed bases. If a mix of GC bases is requested, for example, the synthesizer would deliver half the normal amount of G and half the normal amount of C. Coupling efficiency is not taken into account. Therefore, it is possible that a mix, such as 30/70, will be delivered.

Answer Id: E7287

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Product FAQ

What are the main steps in PCR?

Answer

The main steps are: denaturation, annealing, and extension. The template is typically heated to a high temperature (around 94-95 degrees C) allowing for the double-stranded DNA to denature into single strands. Next, the temperature is lowered to 50-65 degrees C, allowing primers to anneal to their complementary base-pair regions. The temperature is then increased to 72 degrees C, allowing for the polymerase to bind and synthesize a new strand of DNA.

Answer Id: E7269

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