Why do replicates in real-time PCR have different plateau heights?
Replicates in real-time PCR may have different plateau heights due to differences in the reaction kinetics for each sample. Even though replicates start out with identical template amounts, the rate at which reagents are being depleted, and the point when exponential accumulation of PCR product stops and becomes linear, differ between replicates. This will result in different plateau heights, the stage where PCR reactions have come to a halt, and little or no additional PCR product is being amplified. You can find further information in Chapter 'Quantification of target amounts' of our Brochure "Critical Factors for Successful Real-Time PCR".