What are the advantages of Taq polymerase in PCR?
Posted June 22, 2020
- Thermostability: Taq polymerase is a thermostable DNA polymerase isolated from a bacterium that lives in hot springs. It can withstand the high temperature of >90°C required for the denaturing step in PCR and remain enzymatically active after each cycle.
- Efficiency: The normal DNA polymerases, whose optimum temperature for activity is around 37°C, are unable to withstand the high temperatures in PCR. New enzymes need to be added after each cycle, which requires large amounts of DNA polymerase and continuous handling throughout the PCR process. Since Taq polymerase is still enzymatically active after each high-temperature cycle, no new enzymes are needed, highly boosting the efficiency and lowers the cost.
- High amplification capacity: The optimum temperature for Taq polymerase to perform enzymatic activity is 75-80 °C. Once it reaches at its optimum temperature, it becomes fully functional and can replicate a 1000 base pair strand of DNA in less than 10 seconds at 72°C.
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