Molecular markers
DNA purification
PCR inhibitors

Topic Completed: 1 April 2012

Revised: 15 February 2019

Copyright: 2008-2018,, Inc.

PubMed Search: PCR inhibitors[TI]

Rodney E. Shackelford, D.O., Ph.D.
Page views in 2018: 13
Page views in 2019 to date: 30
Table of Contents
Definition / general
Cite this page: Shackelford R. PCR inhibitors. website. Accessed August 21st, 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
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