Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR)
Date of this Version
Plant and Soil Sciences eLibrary (PASSeL) Lesson
A contribution of the University of Nebraska College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources, Lincoln NE 68583, Journal Series 04-12
The polymerase chain reaction laboratory technique is used in a variety of applications to make copies of a specific DNA sequence. This lesson describes how a PCR reaction works, what it accomplishes and its basic requirements for success. Examples of interpreting results are given. PCR’s strengths, weaknesses, and applications to plant biotechnology are explained.
At the completion of this PCR lesson, learners will be able to:
- Describe what natural cellular process PCR mimics.
- List the 5 chemical components of a PCR reaction and describe their roles.
- List the functions of the 3 temperature cycles which are repeated during a PCR reaction.
- Describe the process of observing results and interpreting results of an experiment.
- Explain both the strengths and weaknesses of PCR.
- List possible uses of PCR in plant biotechnology.