Guidelines for the tetra-primer ARMS-PCR technique development

Mol Biotechnol. 2014 Jul;56(7):599-608. doi: 10.1007/s12033-014-9734-4.


The tetra-primer amplification refractory mutation system-polymerase chain (ARMS-PCR) reaction is a simple and economical method to genotype single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs). It uses four primers in a single PCR and is followed just by gel electrophoresis. However, the optimization step can be very hardworking and time-consuming. Hence, we propose to demonstrate and discuss critical steps for its development, in a way to provide useful information. Two SNPs that provided different amplification conditions were selected. DNA extraction methods, annealing temperatures, PCR cycles protocols, reagents, and primers concentration were also analyzed. The use of tetra-primer ARMS-PCR could be impaired for SNPs in DNA regions rich in cytosine and guanine and for samples with DNA not purified. The melting temperature was considered the factor of greater interference. However, small changes in the reagents concentration significantly affect the PCR, especially MgCl2. Balancing the inner primers band is also a key step. So, in order to balance the inner primers band, intensity is important to observe which one has the weakest band and promote its band by increasing its concentration. The use of tetra-primer ARMS-PCR attends the expectations of modern genomic research and allows the study of SNPs in a fast, reliable, and low-cost way.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • DNA / genetics
  • DNA Primers
  • Genome, Human*
  • Genotype
  • Genotyping Techniques / methods*
  • Guidelines as Topic
  • Humans
  • Mutation
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction / methods*
  • Polymorphism, Single Nucleotide / genetics*


  • DNA Primers
  • DNA