betaine in LA PCR

brett brett at BORCIM.WUSTL.EDU
Sun Apr 20 21:23:17 EST 1997

>Dr. Duncan Clark (duncan at wrote:
>| BTW, they also tried Taq polymerase with 1-1.5 M betaine
>| added and say it helped in yields of some longer PCR
>| products. I'd be interested in seeing a comparison of 1-2 M
>| betaine added to various buffers with and without K+
>| (Woodford1995) and with and without DMSO (Filichkin1992)
>| for Taq processivity and fidelity.
>> One more reference, Biotechniques, Dec 1996, pp1102-1108. Note the last
>> two lines in the acknowlegements!
>Wholly Smokin' Rip-Off!! Does that patent cover the use of betaine in
>ANY polymerase reaction done in your lab? making your own Taq?
>Next thing you know, they'll patent the use of NaCl in saline solutions!
>Or is that patent just to make sure someone else doesn't try to patent it?
>I'm so disgusted. Hey maybe the patent doesn't cover the use of TMANO...
>Look out! Here comes a HUGE increase in the cost of PCR buffers.

Well, I'm not a lawyer (whew!), but it's my understanding that the use of
betaine had been previously published by other groups.  I have seen my PI
wrangling with patent attorneys before, and it seems to me that this patent
wouldn't hold up, at least in the US. Perhaps someone more acquainted with
the law could fill us in?

Brett Lindenbach
Program in Immunology                              
Washington University - St Louis                  
brett at                             

More information about the Methods mailing list