Why do I see multiple high-intensity peaks in my qPCR dissociation curve at temperatures less than 70ºC?
If the extra peaks seem irregular or noisy, do not occur in all samples, and occur at temperatures less than 70 ºC, then these peaks may not represent real PCR products and instead may represent artifacts caused by instrument settings.
Usually extra peaks caused by secondary products are smooth and regular, occur reproducibly in most samples, and occur at temperatures greater than 70 ºC. Characterization of the product by agarose gel electrophoresis is the best way to distinguish between these cases. If only one band appears by agarose gel then the extra peaks in the dissociation curve are instrument artifacts and not real products. If this is the case, refer to the thermal cycler user manual, and confirm that all instrument settings (smooth factor, etc.) are set to their optimal values.