The polymerase chain reaction has revolutionized the world of scientific research and its broad application has caused a tremendous development of versatile PCR instruments and chemistries to fit its purpose. This chapter provides the reader with a general introduction to the basics of real-time PCR instrumentation, including the thermal and optical systems and the software. Performance parameters such as temperature uniformity, accuracy and ramp speed as well as reaction format, optical systems, calibration of dyes, software and comparison between different real-time PCR platforms will be discussed from a user perspective leading to an instrument selection guide. Differences between fluorescent DNA binding dyes and target-specific fluorescently labeled primers or probes for detection of amplicon accumulation will be discussed, along with the properties and applications of the most frequently applied chemistries. The fluorophores and quenchers used for primer and probe labeling and their compatibility will be presented, and finally the future challenges and trends within the field of qPCR instrumentation will be discussed.
|Title of host publication||Quantitative Real-time PCR in Applied Microbiology|
|Publisher||Caister Academic Press|
|Publication status||Published - 2012|