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Lett Appl Microbiol. 2000 Sep;31(3):187-92.

Selective amplification of bacterial RNA: use of a DNA primer containing mismatched bases near its 3' terminus to reduce false-positive signals.

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Department of Food Science, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC 27695-7624, USA.


A reverse transcription PCR (RT-PCR) method designed to reduce false-positive results due to the co-amplification of contaminating genomic DNA is reported. Feasibility of the method was evaluated using 16S rRNA sequences specific to Bacillus cereus. A DNA oligonucleotide primer, consisting of 22-bases containing three consecutive mismatched bases near its 3' terminus (primer B16RT), was used for reverse transcription and in subsequent cDNA amplification. Specific rRNA was reverse transcribed at low temperature (40 degrees C or 45 degrees C) in the presence of primer B16RT. As subsequent PCR using primer B16RT at high (62 degrees C) annealing temperatures is not nearly as efficient as amplification using the specific primer, amplification of genomic DNA was hindered relative to the amplification of cDNA. The method was readily adapted to the selective amplification of mRNA of the Listeria monocytogenes listeriolysin O (hly) gene.

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