Why Choose TaqMan Assays?

Probes and assays—what’s the difference?

Simply put, a TaqMan probe is a single DNA oligo containing a 5’ reporter dye and a 3’ quencher.

The typical TaqMan probe is designed with a minor groove binder (MGB) moiety at the 3’ end that increases the melting temperature (Tm) of the probe and stabilizes probe–target hybrids. This means that TaqMan MGB probes can be significantly shorter than traditional probes, providing better sequence discrimination and flexibility to accommodate more targets.The TaqMan MGB probe is one component of a TaqMan Assay.

Learn more about MGB probes

A TaqMan Assay consists of a forward primer, one or more TaqMan probes, and a reverse primer pre-mixed together at specified concentrations.

Predesigned TaqMan Assaysare designed and optimized to target a specific gene sequence, and many are stocked and ready for purchase. They require no further design, optimization, or lengthy melt-curve analysis. Just add your sample and reagent then run your experiment.

How TaqMan Assays work
TaqMan formats
TaqMan vs SYBR chemistries

Why use predesigned assays?

Predesigned assays enable you to focus on your research and not on assay design, performance optimization, or validation.

Applied Biosystems has developed the largest portfolio of application-specific predesigned TaqMan Assays to support your research (more than 20 million, in fact). TaqMan Assays are designed using a highly sophisticated oligonucleotide probe/primer design pipeline. This includes robust primer design algorithms and an extensive array of bioinformatics tools and processes to automate assay design. The pipeline also integrates design details with the manufacturing process and assay quality control.

Read more about our TaqMan Assay design process ›

Bottom line, every time you use a TaqMan Assay you are getting proven technology backed by more than 40K publications, and gold-standard performance you can have confidence in:

  • Specificity—advanced primer/probe sequence selection criteria plus MGB probe enhancement deliver the specificity and reproducibility you need for confidence in your results; your results are generated from amplification of the intended target, not from non-specific dye binding 
  • Sensitivity—the non-fluorescent quencher (NFQ) on TaqMan probes minimizes background, and intelligent PCR primer and probe design maximizes amplification efficiency; get better sensitivity and accuracy to reliably detect targets present at 10 or fewer copies
  • Reproducibility—accurately reproduce results from well to well, day to day, and lab to lab, even across manufacturing lots
  • Guaranteed performance—we stand behind our assays. If they don’t perform as promised, we’ll replace or refund—your choice.

More reasons to love TaqMan Assays

Wide dynamic range—detect from a handful to millions of target molecules with the same reaction setup. Capture the full spectrum of expression variability in many experimental scenarios.

High amplification efficiency—all TaqMan Gene Expression Assays have a PCR efficiency of 100% (±10%). Use the comparative Ct (ΔΔCt) method of quantification confidently.

Ease of use—all assays use a single, universal thermal cycling profile. Run any assay combination on a single plate. Avoid instrument programming errors.

Comprehensive assay information—genomic mapping data are provided prior to purchase


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