Error rate of Reverse Transkriptases in cDNA synthesis

Klaus Salger salger at
Thu Jun 20 12:08:51 EST 1996

Karl Schmid wrote:
> Hi,
> I isolated and sequenced 10 pairs of homologous cDNAs from two closely
> related Drosophila species. The degree of sequence similarity between the two species
> is very high. Errors which have been introduced
> during cDNA synthesis (I used the Stratagene lambda ZAPII system) may increase
> the number of substitutions and lead to wrong estimates of evolutionary rates.
> For that reason I would like to know how many synthesis errors one can expect
> as consequence of cDNA synthesis and library construction.
> If anyone has experience with this problem or knows literature about it, I would
> be grateful if he or she lets me know.
> Thanks in advance,
> Karl

Hi Karl,

you may want to have a look into the following paper:

Reverse transcriptases and genomic variability: the accuracy of DNA
replication is enzyme specific and sequence dependent. 
Ricchetti M; Buc H, EMBO J 9: 1583-93 (1990) 

They compared error rates of HIV-1, AMV and MoMLV reverse

Bis demnaext

Klaus Salger                phone : +49 (0)89 5902 -502
Zoologisches Institut       FAX   :                -450
AG MacWilliams              e-mail: salger at
Luisenstr. 14               
80333 Muenchen


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