Reverse transcription using random pentadecamer primers increases yield and quality of resulting cDNA

Michael Stangegaard, I.H. Dufva, Hans Martin Dufva

    Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


    Reverse transcription of RNA is an invaluable method for gene expression analysis by real-time PCR or microarray methods. Random primers of varying lengths were compared with respect to their efficiency of priming reverse transcription reactions. The results showed that l5-nucleotide-long random oligonucleotides (pentadecamers) consistently, yielded at least 2 fold as much cDNA as did random hexamers using either-poly(A) RNA or an amplified version of messenger RNA (aRNA) as a template. The cDNA generated using pentadecamers did not differ in size distribution or the amount of incorporated label compared with cDNA generated with random hexamers. The increased efficiency of priming using random pentadecamers resulted in reverse transcription of > 80% of the template aRNA, while random hexamers induced reverse transcription of only 40% of the template aRNA. This suggests a better coverage of the transcriptome when using random pentadecamers over random hexamers. Using the same amount of aRNA as starting material, random pentadecamer-printed reactions resulted in 11-fold more genes being detected in whole transcriptome DNA microarray experiments than random hexamer-primed reactions. The results indicate that random pentadecamers can replace random hexamers in reverse transcription reactions on both poly(A) RNA and amplified RNA, resulting in higher cDNA yields and quality.
    Original languageEnglish
    Issue number5
    Pages (from-to)649-656
    Publication statusPublished - 2006


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