Thermophilic Bacteria

Nicholas Landau nlandau at eden.rutgers.edu
Tue Nov 3 16:14:12 EST 1998


"Taq polymerase" is a DNA polymerase derived from a specific
thermophile, Thermus aquaticus.  Other thermophilic organisms
have different versions of DNA polymerase.  Taq polymerase is
of consequence to humanity because it was the polymerase used
by Mullis et al in the invention of the polymerase chain
reaction (PCR), for which Mullis was award the Nobel Prize for
Chemistry.

"Gilbert Douglas" <gfdouglas at earthlink.net> writes:

>I have learned in my Sophomore biology class that one characteristic
>significant to Thermophilic bacteria is the presence of a "Taq" enzyme.  My
>question is, what reaction does this enzyme catalyze in these bacteria and
>why is this enzyme uniquely needed in the PCR?

>I would appreciate any help

>thanks,
>gilbert douglas







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