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BMC Biotechnol. 2002 Jul 18;2:13.

Signal and noise in bridging PCR.

Author information

1
Sackler Laboratory of Molecular Genetics and Informatics, Rockefeller University 1230 York Ave, NY, NY 10021-6399, USA. shumo@research.nj.nec.com

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

In a variant of the standard PCR reaction termed bridging, or jumping, PCR the primer-bound sequences are originally on separate template molecules. Bridging can occur if, and only if, the templates contain a region of sequence similarity. A 3' end of synthesis in one round of synthesis that terminates in this region of similarity can prime on the other. In principle, Bridging PCR (BPCR) can detect a subpopulation of one template that terminates synthesis in the region of sequence shared by the other template. This study considers the sensitivity and noise of BPCR as a quantitative assay for backbone interruptions. Bridging synthesis is also important to some methods for computing with DNA.

RESULTS:

In this study, BPCR was tested over a 328 base pair segment of the E. coli lac operon and a signal to noise ratio (S/N) of approximately 10 was obtained under normal PCR conditions with Taq polymerase. With special precautions in the case of Taq or by using the Stoffel fragment the S/N was improved to 100, i.e. 1 part of cut input DNA yielded the same output as 100 parts of intact input DNA.

CONCLUSIONS:

In the E. coli lac operator region studied here, depending on details of protocol, between 3 and 30% per kilobase of final PCR product resulted from bridging. Other systems are expected to differ in the proportion of product that is bridged consequent to PCR protocol and the sequence analyzed. In many cases physical bridging during PCR will have no informational consequence because the bridged templates are of identical sequence, but in a number of special cases bridging creates, or, destroys, information.

PMID:
12126483
PMCID:
PMC122071
DOI:
10.1186/1472-6750-2-13
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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