Molecular markers
DNA purification
PCR inhibitors

Author: Rodney E. Shackelford, D.O., Ph.D. (see Authors page)

Revised: 29 May 2018, last major update April 2012

Copyright: (c) 2008-2018,, Inc.

PubMed Search: PCR inhibitors[TI]

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Table of Contents
Definition / general
Cite this page: Shackelford, R.E. PCR inhibitors. website. Accessed January 22nd, 2019.
Definition / general
  • PCR inhibitors are commonly encountered; removing these containments is vital to insure good PCR amplification
  • Chemical structure of PCR inhibitors and mechanism(s) of inhibition show enormous variation
  • Inhibitors include excess salts such as KCl and NaCl, detergents / hydrophobic chemicals (phenol, SDS, chloroform, sodium deocyholate and sarkosyl), inappropriate heating, loss of reagents required for PCR (such as Mg++, Taq polymerase denaturation, etc.), alcohols (ethanol and isopropyl alcohol), heparin, bromophenol blue, agarose, inosine, humic acids, deoxyuridine, excess nucleic acids in the amplification reaction, various polysaccharides (OpenWetWare: PCR Inhibitors [Accessed 29 May 2018])
  • Since inhibitors can be either hydrophilic or hydrophobic (or both), DNA purification purification protocols usually involve subjecting the crude nucleic acid mix to both hydrophilic and hydrophobic washing steps