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Minimal length of primer for DNA polymerase

bmay ndxdbmay at rrzn.uni-hannover.de
Sat Dec 16 09:48:06 EST 1995

ChunLin_Lu at cellbio.duke.edu (C.L.L.) wrote:
>  I want to amplify DNA using primers as short as posibly. Does anybody
> know what is minimal length of primer for DNA polymerase? I wonder if a
> restriction enzyme cleavge site seuqence could be chosen as a primer
> assuming no interanl site. it is known that dimer can be formed under
> certein PCR conditions if one or two base(s) of two primers matching at
> 3'-end. Does it mean Thermal DNA polymerase can use shorter primers
> compared to normal DNA polymerase? Any suggestions are wellcome. Thanks.
> Chunlin Lu

I once used random primers (9-mers) to test my assay, and i got 
"amplificates" of course no specific bands. So Taq polymerase 
obviously can use 9-mers as primers. 
BUT the shorter the primer is, the lower its melting temperature
will be and the greater are chances for unspecific annealing (I guess 
you already know). So please tell me why use primers shorter than 18 ?
(that means: post your goal to this forum!!!)

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