PCR errors:How many really?

Ted M. tedm at darkwing.uoregon.edu
Wed May 31 08:15:07 EST 1995

In article <3q81hq$h9d at nntp3.u.washington.edu>, yacman at homer26 (L.
Bastian) wrote:

> Okay, I know papers have been rejected because people have cloned using 
> PCR and then either 1) not sequenced the clones, and/or 2)not tested 
> independently isolated clones for whatever functional assay they are 
> interested in.  The usual line is that using PCR you take the risk of 
> introducing PCR errors into the product.  I seem to recall that Taq 
> polymerase does have a relatively high error rate, about one in ten 
> thousand bases.  For most applications, I think this error rate is really 
> quite low.  Furthermore, anyone who has done any sequencing knows that 
> standard sequencing errors exceed (easily) greater than one in ten 
> thousand.  So, my questions: Anyone care to comment on the 1 in ten 
> thousand rate?  In my, all-be-it, limited PCR experience I have never 
> seen a genuine, confirmed, PCR error.  Am I lucky or what?  Is template 
> selection (e.g. GC content) or amount likely to affect error rates.  My 
> preference is hearing from voices of experience, rather than theoretical 
> gobbeldy gook (sp?)  
> Thanks,
> Scot Bastian Ph.D.

Refer to a discussion of Taq fidelity by T. Kunkle in PCR Methods journal.
                                                            Ted Michelini

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