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

Science. 1988 Jan 29;239(4839):487-91. doi: 10.1126/science.2448875.


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.

MeSH terms

  • Cloning, Molecular
  • DNA / genetics*
  • DNA, Recombinant
  • DNA-Directed DNA Polymerase / metabolism*
  • Electrophoresis, Agar Gel
  • Globins / genetics
  • Hot Temperature*
  • Humans
  • Nucleic Acid Amplification Techniques*
  • Nucleic Acid Denaturation
  • Nucleic Acid Hybridization
  • RNA / genetics
  • Thermus / enzymology


  • DNA, Recombinant
  • RNA
  • Globins
  • DNA
  • DNA-Directed DNA Polymerase