Primer-directed enzymatic amplification of DNA with a thermostable DNA polymerase

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Science  29 Jan 1988:
Vol. 239, Issue 4839, pp. 487-491
DOI: 10.1126/science.239.4839.487


A thermostable DNA polymerase was used in an in vitro DNA amplification procedure, the polymerase chain reaction. The enzyme, isolated from Thermus aquaticus, greatly simplifies the procedure and, by enabling the amplification reaction to be performed at higher temperatures, significantly improves the specificity, yield, sensitivity, and length of products that can be amplified. Single-copy genomic sequences were amplified by a factor of more than 10 million with very high specificity, and DNA segments up to 2000 base pairs were readily amplified. In addition, the method was used to amplify and detect a target DNA molecule present only once in a sample of 10(5) cells.