Developed the PCR
process in 1986
Nobel Laureate, 1993
Polymerase Chain Reaction
PCR – a synthetic method (no living cells) to produce
millions of copies of DNA
use enzymes in a tube - in vitro
The more DNA available, the easier it is to work with.
Minimum requirements for DNA polymerase:
Three Steps for each PCR Cycle
DNA strand denaturation (95°C)
separate double stranded DNA
each strand becomes template strand
bind short DNA pieces to template strands
DNA strand synthesis
(50°C - 65°C)
produce new DNA strands
Where do you find enzymes that don’t break down at
Thermus aquaticus bacterium live in hot springs and
their enzymes are designed to withstand extreme
Isolated Taq polymerase from these bacteria.
After 30 cycles, 230 (more than a billion) copies of
DNA can be produced.
30 cycles of PCR can take anywhere from 1 – 2
hours to complete.