Ligase Chain Reaction: Sensitivity

Brian Hjelle bhjelle at
Wed Dec 4 13:41:50 EST 1991

Pretty soon everyone will have read the blurb in Science about the
wonders of LCR. 

I was ready to give it a serious shot (my PCR primer bill is already
as large as the GNP of some countries) but was put off by a comment
near the end that LCR was less sensitive than PCR.

Is LCR really less sensitive than PCR, all else being equal?

Before you answer, let me just say that sensitivity is a big issue
in my lab, because we are looking for viral DNA that is 100-1000X 
less abundant than a single-copy mammalian gene, or about 1 part
in  3  billion. We frequently try new primers that turn out to be
useless because of low sensitivity, even after lots of "optimization".


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