Humorous New Types of PCR

Undoubtedly, the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) has revolutionized biological research and has become one of the most common techniques in today’s laboratory. At times, it seems that a new variation of PCR is described in the literature every month. You might think that you are familiar with the dozens of PCR variations, but I am guessing that you haven’t heard of some of these.

  • Inverse PCR

    Amplification of flanking sequences by doing “outward” PCR of self-ligated genomic fragments.

  • Perverse PCR

    PCR performed by adding limiting amounts of primer at each cycle and using a different set of primers for each cycle.

  • Reverse PCR

    A procedure in which you start with a lot of a specific DNA and end with a small quantity of random DNA. This process is carried out with random primers, DNA polymerase and a carefully titrated excess of DNase I.

  • Adverse PCR

    PCR in which Klenow DNA Polymerase is used rather than a thermostable enzyme.

  • Diverse PCR

    A type of multiplex PCR in which multiple templates are each amplified with multiple primers, each of which has a different label. Awesome quantities of information can be collected from a single reaction if you can just figure out how to analyze it!

  • Obverse PCR

    A variant of reverse PCR (see above) in which the DNAse I digestion is allowed to go to completion. The final products of this reaction are dNMPs and PPi.

  • Universe PCR

    PCR performed with all possible primers present. Usually performed by people who heard that PCR “is a wonderful technique”, but have not quite got the hang of it.

  • Free verse PCR

    PCR performed with primers that will anneal to two entirely different regions of the template DNA. Yields are typically very low but interesting.

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Terri Sundquist

Terri has worked as a Scientific Communications Specialist at Promega Corporation for more than 13 years, and prior to that, spent more than 5 years solving problems and answering questions as a Promega Technical Services Scientist. She graduated with B.S. degrees in Chemistry and Biology at the University of Wisconsin—River Falls, then earned her M.S. in Molecular Biology from the Mayo Graduate School in Rochester Minnesota.

One thoughtful comment

  1. Thank god for PCR it lets us see more from less to reproduce DNA to infinity. Great for health and solving crimes. Someday may we clone perfection with science. O the power of the mind to find solutions.

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