Let us make your lab life easier – PCR covered with confidence

May 1, 2018

Do any of these statements sound familiar, maybe with your own work or that of your lab co-workers?

“PCR – cool stuff, but I wish it were less tedious to optimize.”
“Couldn’t the design of my PCR experiment be as simple as using my smartphone?”
“OMG – I hate pipetting 96-well PCR plates.”
Why does PCR still take so long and require so many different components or enzymes?”
“I wonder if I can still use that PCR kit I forgot to put back into the fridge after using.”
“Oops, did I already add sample to that well or not…?”

Biomarker discovery, gene regulation and cancer research all have one thing in common: the demand for increased throughput, reduced costs, higher assay sensitivity and reliable data normalization. But how can you achieve all of this if you still have trouble with PCR reactions failing due to nonspecific amplification, low yields and smearing, especially when using difficult templates (e.g., high GC content) or low template amounts?

Well, we have some good news for you! We can help make your lab life easier so you don’t have to worry about PCR reaction setups, buffer optimizations or temperature control any longer!

We developed the brand-new AllTaq PCR Core Kits and Master Mixes to help you to overcome all of the challenges and variabilities in your PCR experiments, no matter which research area you work in.

It’s all about the hot start

Have you ever wondered what happens if you forget your PCR reagents on the bench? Do you think that pipetting reactions on ice is a huge pain point?

You don’t have to worry about these things any longer! Due to the AllTaq hot-start mechanism, your reagents will be stable on the bench at room temperature. The DNA polymerase is kept in an inactive state by the antibody and the guard molecule until the initial heat activation step. The activation takes place within 2 minutes, and any premature leakage, primer-dimer formation or non-specific annealing is stringently prevented – how cool is that?

“It takes me ages to optimize the buffer conditions”

We’ve got this challenge covered, too! We’ve already done the work for you so you don’t have to fret over the right composition and concentrations. The preoptimized buffer features the combined effect of ammonium and potassium ions, which maintain the high ratio of specific-to-nonspecific primer-template binding over a wide temperature range. It makes your reaction highly specific and reliable and allows duplexing or amplification of long targets up to 9 kb. The Q-solution provided in the AllTaq PCR Core Kit also deals with GC-rich templates.

“Did I already add the template to the Master Mix?”

This is no longer an issue when you use our pipetting tracers. Now it’s clearly visible which tubes of master mix already contain template and in which tubes it’s still missing. Take a look at the figure below. Simply add the blue-colored Template Tracer to the tube containing your template. To the tube containing the primers, add the orange-colored Master Mix Tracer. Once you have pipetted them both into the reaction tube, you will get the green light to your PCR success. Happy you – everything has been pipetted correctly! You can also follow these tracers visually on your gel electrophoresis.
So the next time you hear any “I hate PCR” phrases in the lab, you can simply answer, “Why? PCR is easy, and it always works for me – here’s how!” With one less reason to be frustrated in the lab, you can be happy and enjoy your reliable research results!
Laura Mohr

Laura Alina Mohr, M.Sc.

Laura Alina Mohr joined QIAGEN in 2015. She received her Master’s Degree in Chemical Biology at the Technical University Dortmund in Germany. During this time, she was involved in Systemic Cell Biology research at the prestigious Max Planck Institute. Before joining QIAGEN, Laura Alina worked at the Scripps Research Institute, San Diego, where she first focused on DNA damage/repair pathways and telomere biology. Later, she joined the Muscle Development, Aging and Regeneration program at the Sanford Burnham Prebys Medical Discovery Institute. At QIAGEN she is interested in gene expression profiling focusing on various biological pathways, e.g. cancer research and neurodegeneration.