Here we report a novel design of linker primer that allows one to differentially amplify long tracts (average 3.0 kb with size ranges of 1-7 kb) or short DNAs (average 1.5 kb with size ranges of 0.5-3 kb) from a complex mixture. The method allows one to generate cDNA libraries enriched for long transcripts without size selection of insert DNAs. One representative library from newborn kidney includes 70% of clones bearing ATG start codons. A comparable library has been generated from 20 mouse blastocysts, containing only approximately 40 ng of total RNA. This universal PCR amplification scheme can provide a route to isolate very large cDNAs, even if they are expressed at very low levels.