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N8080160

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’m getting an unexpected product when performing PCR. What could be the cause of this and what do you suggest I try?

Answer

Please see the following possibilities and suggestions we have:

-Primer design: try longer primers to avoid binding at alternative sites, avoid 3 consecutive G or C nucleotides at the 3’ end.
-Annealing temperature: increase annealing temperature to increase specificity.
-Mg2+ concentration: try a lower concentration.
-DNA contamination: use aerosol tips and separate work area to avoid contamination, use UNG/UDG technique to prevent carryover.

Answer Id: E7291

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Product FAQ

I’m seeing high molecular weight EtBr stainable material left in wells. Why is this happening?

Answer

This artifact occurs when either too many cycles were performed or too much DNA is added to the reaction. Try heating to 65 degrees C and putting sample on ice before loading.

Answer Id: E7292

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Product FAQ

I’m seeing smearing after PCR. What is causing this?

Answer

Please see some reasons below for seeing smearing:

-The enzyme, primer, Mg2+, and/or dNTP concentration was too high.
-The annealing temperature was too low for the primers being used.
-Too many cycles were used.
-The annealing and extension times were too long.
-Bad or old primers.
-Too much template was used initially, try to start with 104-106 molecules
-Consider using additives or PCR Optimizer™ Kit (Cat. No. K122001), especially if you feel strongly that the primers should work/have worked before and are using Taq.

Answer Id: E7288

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Product FAQ

When amplifying long PCR targets, is the concentration of the deoxynucleoside triphosphates (dNTPs) limiting?

Answer

The concentration of dNTPs in a standard PCR amplification is 200 μM each, for a total of 800 μM. This total dNTP amount corresponds to 39 μg of dNTPs. This is a huge excess and, when generating long PCR fragments, is not a limiting factor during the PCR amplification, as the amount of target DNA generated is generally no more than 1 μg. More importantly, the reaction condition variables need to be monitored more closely in order for successful long PCR amplification to occur.

Answer Id: E1084

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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

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 do different programs calculate different Tm values?

Answer

Tm values are not absolute - they are an approximation of the melting temperature range which exists. A thermal profile for a given oligo shows a 10-15 degree range of melting depending on the amount of salt but also on the base composition and concentration of primer in the reaction which are not precisely defined. One should not rely solely on the given Tm value as the only one that will work. Tm is the temperature at which 50% of the primer and its complementary sequence are present in a duplex DNA molecule. The Tm is necessary to establish an annealing temperature for PCR. Reasonable annealing temperatures range from 55 degrees C to 70 degrees C. Annealing temperatures are generally about 5 degrees C below the Tm of the primers. Since most formulas provide an estimated Tm value, the annealing temperature is only a starting point. Specificity for PCR can be increased by analyzing several reactions with increasingly higher annealing temperatures.

Answer Id: E7284

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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 green color in my lyophilized oligo. Can I still use it?

Answer

If an oligo appears green in color, this is most likely due to ink falling into the tube. The oligo should still be fully functional. The color can be removed by doing an ethanol precipitation.

Answer Id: E7299

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Product FAQ

What is the expected half life of AmpliTaq™ DNA Polymerase at 95 degrees C?

Answer

The half-life of AmpliTaq™ DNA Polymerase at 95 degrees C is 40 min. During PCR, the sample is only incubated at the programmed temperature for approximately 20 seconds. Therefore, the cycling half-life of AmpliTaq Gold at 95 degrees C is approximately 100 cycles.

Example: AmpliTaq™ DNA Polymerase experiences about 20 seconds at 95 degrees C per PCR cycle. The t1/2 is at least 33 minutes; (35-40 min). Therefore, 33 min/20 sec/cycle = 100 cycles. 100 PCR cycles reduces enzyme activity by 50%.

Answer Id: E1139

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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

What thermal stable DNA polymerase is recommended for PCR amplification of long PCR targets?

Answer

Successful amplification of long PCR targets is dependent on variables such as sufficient extension time during the PCR amplification, cosolvent addition, pH of the reaction buffer, salt concentration, primer design, use of a hot start, DNA sample integrity, and the enzyme's proofreading and polymerase activities. A few examples of our long PCR enzymes include our Elonagase enzyme mix that can be used for amplicons up to 30kb (blend of Taq and proofreading enzyme) or our Phire Hot Start II enzyme mix that can be used for amplicons up to 20 kb (Taq polymerase). Read more here: https://www.thermofisher.com/us/en/home/life-science/pcr/pcr-enzymes-master-mixes/long-fragment-pcr.html

Answer Id: E1083

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Product FAQ

My primer has an extra inserted base. How could this happen?

Answer

If detritylation occurs inappropriately and/or if the synthesizer has an error and delivers the wrong base, an extra inserted base can occur in your primer. Please contact techsupport@thermofisher.com for assistance.

Answer Id: E7297

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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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