Decorative RNA strands

Reverse transcription is a widely used application in molecular biology research for RNA analysis and gene expression studies. This process is carried out by an enzyme called reverse transcriptase, which can convert RNA into a complementary DNA (cDNA) strand. The Thermo Scientific reverse transcriptase portfolio offers robust and reliable reverse transcriptases in a variety of optimized formats for use in RT-PCR and RT-qPCR applications.

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Thermo Scientific reverse transcriptases: product offerings

Selecting the right reverse transcriptase for cDNA synthesis is critical to detecting low-abundance RNAs and efficiently transcribing RNA molecules with high amounts of secondary structures. When selecting a reverse transcriptase, it is also important to consider factors such as sensitivity and thermostability, which can affect the accuracy and efficiency of the cDNA synthesis. The various formats, include:

  • Standalone enzymes to help ensure maximum flexibility in reaction setup.
  • Complete kits/master mixes for efficient and reproducible first strand cDNA synthesis. These kits are also available in formats with dsDNase. The dsDNase step is completed in two minutes and allows for an easy gDNA removal prior to reverse transcription.

Thermo Scientific reverse transcriptases selection guide

Reverse transcriptases are selected for their sensitivity and thermostability. The attributes of various Thermo Scientific reverse transcriptases are listed in Table 1.

Table 1. Attributes of Thermo Scientific reverse transcriptases

 Enhanced performanceRoutine performance
ProductMaxima™ H Minus Reverse TranscriptaseMaxima™ Reverse TranscriptaseRevertAid H Minus Reverse TranscriptaseRevertAid Reverse Transcriptase
Active temperature range50–65 oC50–65 oC42–55 o42–50 oC
RNase H activityNoYesNoYes
Reaction time15–30 min15–30 min60 min60 min
Sensitivity (total RNA)1 pg1 pg100 pg100 pg
Maximum cDNA length20 kb20 kb13 kb13 kb
FormatStandalone, kit, and master mixStandalone and kitStandalone and kitStandalone and kit

Learn more about Maxima Reverse Transcriptase

Related products

Primers are an essential component of the reverse transcription reaction, and they are added to the reaction mix along with the reverse transcriptase and other necessary components. The addition of appropriate primers is crucial for successful cDNA synthesis in the reverse transcription reaction. Two commonly used primer types to initiate the synthesis of cDNA are oligo dT primers and random hexamer primers.

Thermo Scientific reverse transcriptases: resources


Reverse transcription webinars

Stay up to date on current industry trends in cDNA synthesis applications with on-demand webinars.

Reverse transcription literature

Access white papers, technical and application notes for insights on cutting edge reverse transcription technologies.

Reverse transcription videos

Watch instructional videos on troubleshooting tips, how-to videos, and explainers related to cDNA synthesis.

Reverse transcription education

Review educational resources on topics including reverse transcription basics, cDNA synthesis, enzyme selection, troubleshooting tips, and cDNA applications in molecular biology.


PCR and cDNA Synthesis Support Center

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Tm calculator

Handy tool to calculate Tm (melting temperature) of primers and annealing temperatures.

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