Polymerase Chain Reaction

Prerequisites

Before studying the Polymerase Chain Reaction you should be able to:

  • Describe DNA structure.
  • Understand DNA replication.
  • Understand agarose gel electrophoresis.

Learning Objectives

After studying this topic you should be able to:

  • Outline the steps involved in a typical PCR reaction.
  • Describe the polymerase chain reaction in terms of:
    • The basic principle.
    • The use of a thermostable DNA polymerase.
    • The use of a microprocessor controlled PCR machine.
    • The sequence information you need before starting PCR (primer design).
    • Why contamination is a problem.
    • The visualisation of products.
    • Its use in creating mutations.
    • Types of PCR (e.g. inverse PCR).
© SCBC 2007