DMSO to improve PCR specificity reference?

Viraj Master vam2 at
Wed Jul 20 09:01:47 EST 1994

In article <s_nurrish-190794173452 at>,
s_nurrish at (Stephen Nurrish) wrote:

> > Dear PCRists,
> > I have a vague recollection of a paper suggesting that the addition of
> > DMSO to PCR reactions can help with the specificity. Does anyone 
> > have the reference for this and/or any experience in using this trick?
> > 
> it is NAR 18 (16) 4953 'A specificity enhancer for polymerase chain
> reaction'
> by Ted Hung, Ken Hak, and Kenneth Fong.
> We've found it gives minimal effects and have always managed to solve our
> PCR problems by varying the annealing temperature and/or Mg2+
> concentration. Formamide to 2.5% works wonders for those difficult GC rich
> regions.

Is it true that DMSO addition to a PCR reaction decreases DNA polymerase
fidelity, resulting in quite a few point mutations?  I thought I read this
somewhere, but I cannot seem to find the ref.


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