famRCA-RACE: a rolling circle amplification race for isolating a family of homologous cDNAs in one reaction and its application to obtain NAC genes transcription factors from crocus (Crocus sativus) flower

Prep Biochem Biotechnol. 2010;40(3):177-87. doi: 10.1080/10826068.2010.488507.


We describe an improvement of the RCA-RACE (rolling circle amplification-rapid amplification of cDNA ends) method, called family RCA-RACE (famRCA-RACE). The method is based on the generation of circular cDNA fragments, followed by rolling circle amplification of the circular cDNA using phi29 DNA polymerase and the application of PCR using degenerate outworking primers, designed for a conserved region of homologous genes, that allows the isolation of homologous cDNA sequences expressed in the mRNA preparation in a single polymerase chain reaction (PCR). As an example we present the isolation of seven NAC-like transcription factors cDNA sequences expressed in Crocus sativus flower, used for saffron production. Sequence alignment revealed that CsatNAC proteins contain the typical domain structure of plant NAC proteins, consisting of the conserved N-terminal NAC domain used to design the primers and the five subdomains. Phylogenetic analysis revealed that CsatNAC proteins fall in subgroup I of the NAC family of proteins.

MeSH terms

  • Crocus / genetics*
  • DNA, Circular / genetics*
  • DNA, Complementary / genetics*
  • DNA, Complementary / isolation & purification*
  • Flowers / genetics*
  • Genes, Plant / genetics*
  • Nucleic Acid Amplification Techniques / methods*
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Transcription Factors / genetics*


  • DNA, Circular
  • DNA, Complementary
  • Transcription Factors