Real-time Polymerase Chain Reaction

In molecular biology, real-time polymerase chain reaction, also called quantitative real time polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) or kinetic polymerase chain reaction is a laboratory technique based on the polymerase chain reaction, which is used to amplify and simultaneously quantify a targeted DNA molecule. For one or more specific sequences in a DNA sample, Real Time-PCR enables both detection and quantification. The quantity can be either an absolute number of copies or a relative amount when normalized to DNA input or additional normalizing genes.

The procedure follows the general principle of polymerase chain reaction; its key feature is that the amplified DNA is detected as the reaction progresses in real time. This is a new approach compared to standard PCR, where the product of the reaction is detected at its end. Two common methods for the detection of products in real-time PCR are: (1) non-specific fluorescent dyes that intercalate with any double-stranded DNA, and (2) sequence-specific DNA probes consisting of oligonucleotides that are labelled with a fluorescent reporter which permits detection only after hybridization of the probe with its complementary DNA target.

Frequently, real-time PCR is combined with reverse transcription to quantify messenger RNA (mRNA) and non-coding RNA in cells or tissues.

qPCR is the abbreviation used for real-time PCR. Real-time reverse-transcription PCR is often denoted as: qRT-PCR The acronym "RT-PCR" commonly denotes reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction and not real-time PCR, but not all authors adhere to this convention.

Read more about Real-time Polymerase Chain Reaction:  Background, Basic Principles, Classification, Fusion Temperature Analysis, Applications

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