J Integr Plant Biol. ›› 2007, Vol. 49 ›› Issue (3): -.DOI: 10.1111/j.1744-7909.2007.00430.x

• Evolution •    

Changes of 5'' Terminal Nucleotides of PCR PrimersCausing Variable T-A Cloning Efficiency

Mei-Qin Liu, Xin Shen, Wei-Lun Yin and Cun-Fu Lu   

Abstract: T-A cloning takes advantage of the unpaired adenosyl residue added to the 3'' terminus of amplified DNAs by Taq and other thermostable DNA polymerase and uses a linearized plasmid vector with a protruding 3'' thymidylate residue at each of its 3'' termini to clone polymerase chain reaction (PCR)-derived DNA fragments. It is a simple, reliable, and efficient ligation-dependent cloning method for PCR products, but the drawback of variable cloning efficiency occurs during application. In the present work, the relationship between variable T-A cloning efficiency and the different 5'' end nucleotide base of primers used in PCR amplification was studied. The results showed that different cloning efficiency was obtained with different primer pairs containing A, T, C and G at the 5'' terminus respectively. The data shows that when the 5'' end base of primer pair was adenosyl, more white colonies could be obtained in cloning the corresponding PCR product in comparison with other bases. And the least white colonies were formed when using the primer pair with 5'' cytidylate end. The gluanylate end primers resulted in almost the same cloning efficiency in the white colonies amount as the thymidylate end primer did, and this efficiency was much lower than that of adenosyl end primers. This presumably is a consequence of variability in 3''dA addition to PCR products mediated by Taq polymerase. Our results offer instructions for primer design for researchers who choose T-A cloning to clone PCR products.

Key words: efficiency, polymerase chain reaction, primer, T-A cloning, terminal nucleotide.

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