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Year : 2010  |  Volume : 13  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 54-63

Polymerase chain reaction: Theory, practice and application: A review

1 Department of Biochemistry, Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Kaduna State, Nigeria
2 Department of Veterinary Public Health and Preventive Medicine, Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Kaduna State, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
S E Atawodi
Department of Biochemistry, Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Kaduna State
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

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Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) is a rapid procedure for in vitro enzymatic amplification of specific DNA sequences using two oligonucleotide primers that hybridize to opposite strands and flank the region of interest in the target DNA. Repetitive cycles involving template denaturation, primer annealing and the extension of the annealed primers by DNA polymerase, result in the exponential accumulation of a specific fragment whose termini are defined by 5' end of the primers. The primer extension products synthesized in one cycle can serve as a template in the next. Hence the number of target DNA copies approximately doubles at every cycle. Since its inception, PCR has had an enormous impact in both basic and diagnostic aspects of molecular biology. Like the PCR itself, the number of applications has been accumulating exponentially. It is therefore recommended that relevant scientists and laboratories in developing countries like Nigeria should acquire this simple and relatively inexpensive, but rather robust technology.

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