Real-time PCR quantitation

January Weiner nospam_jweiner1 at ix.urz.uni-heidelberg.de
Thu Mar 18 16:26:07 EST 1999

[ David MacHugh ]
> I would be interested in obtaining information about anyone's experience 
> with either the Boehringer-Mannheim (Roche Molecular Biochemicals)
> LightCycler or the Applied Biosystems TaqMan system.

Hello, David.

Our group is interested in one of those systems as well. Up to now, we have
had presentations from both manufacturers, the live presentation of the
LightCycler inclusive.

My own opinion - based only on these presentations:

The LightCycler is still betaware. Roche / Boehringer has much less
experience and technical manpower than Perkin Elmer / ABI does. LC won't
function well as a normal PCR. The software is early beta. You cannot even
export the data from your run into another program!  However, the
technology of the LightCycler seems to be superior or at least more modern. 

There are two systems sold by ABI - 5700 and 7700. 5700 is a low-tech
solution, but can apparently function quite well, in spite of lacking the
possibility of using competitive PCR with two differently labelled probes
in one vial. Both systems are based on excellent (but not quite as fast as
fast as the LC) PE PCR machines. In my opinion, the PE software is much
better, or at least: *finished*, the Primer Xpress program being a
magnificent piece of software (we are trying out a trial version). 

My impression is, that the LC is rather for someone doing high - throughput
mutation screening using the same custom probes - e.g. in diagnostics, and
the PE machines are more suitable for scientific purposes.

> Also, does anyone know if any other manufacturers are producing similar
> equipment for real-time PCR quantitation?

As far as I know, no.

I would also be quite interested in any opinion on this machines, so
please, do mail me, should you find out something. 


Science is true -- don't be misled by facts.

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