What does Taq polymerase do in PCR?
Posted August 14, 2023
Taq polymerase offers three main advantages when used in PCR (polymerase chain reaction).
- Thermostability – Taq polymerase is a thermostable DNA polymerase that can remain stable at higher temperatures of up to 95°C. This is critical because this is the temperature at which DNA denatures, which is a key step in the PCR reaction.
- Increased Efficiency & Lower Cost – Because of its thermostable nature, Taq polymerase remains enzymatically active after high-temperature cycles in PCR. This eliminates the need to add new enzymes after each cycle, which makes the process more efficient while also lowering the cost.
- Higher Amplification Capacity – Taq polymerase performs its enzymatic activity most efficiently between 75°C and 80°C. On reaching its optimal temperature, Taq polymerase becomes fully activated. At 72°C, it is capable of swiftly replicating a DNA strand consisting of 1000 base pairs in under 10 seconds.