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Nucleic Acids Res. Feb 1, 1999; 27(3): 915–916.
PMCID: PMC148267

Inclusion of polyvinylpyrrolidone in the polymerase chain reaction reverses the inhibitory effects of polyphenolic contamination of RNA.


Polysaccharides, secondary metabolites and poly-phenolics are known to co-isolate with nucleic acids from plant tissues resulting in inhibition of molecular manipulations. RNA isolated from the polyphenolic-rich resurrection plant, Myrothamnus flabellifolius, was demonstrated to inhibit a standard polymerase chain reaction used as an assay despite the inclusion of the polyphenolic-binding compound poly(1-vinylpyrrolidone-2) (PVP) into the RNA isolation medium. This inhibition was, however, reversed by the addition of PVP into the PCR mixture itself. Confirmation of the inhibitory effect of polyphenolics on PCR was obtained by addition of green tea polyphenolics to the standard PCR assay. This inhibition was also reversed by the simultaneous inclusion of PVP.

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