Thermal denaturation of double-stranded nucleic acids: prediction of temperatures critical for gradient gel electrophoresis and polymerase chain reaction

Nucleic Acids Res. 1994 Jul 25;22(14):2760-8. doi: 10.1093/nar/22.14.2760.


A program is described which calculates the thermal stability and the denaturation behaviour of double-stranded DNAs and RNAs up to a length of 1000 base pairs. The algorithm is based on recursive generation of conditional and a priori probabilities for base stacking. Output of the program may be compared directly to experimental results; thus the program may be used to optimize the nucleic acid fragments, the primers and the experimental conditions prior to experiments like polymerase chain reactions, temperature-gradient gel electrophoresis, denaturing-gradient gel electrophoresis and hybridizations. The program is available in three versions; the first version runs interactively on VAXstations producing graphics output directly, the second is implemented as part of the HUSAR package at GENIUSnet, the third runs on any computer producing text output which serves as input to available graphics programs.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Bacteriophage T7 / metabolism
  • Base Sequence
  • Calorimetry
  • DNA / chemistry*
  • Electrophoresis / methods*
  • Mathematics
  • Models, Theoretical
  • Nucleic Acid Conformation*
  • Nucleic Acid Denaturation*
  • Plasmids
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction / methods*
  • RNA, Double-Stranded / chemistry*
  • Software
  • Transcription, Genetic


  • RNA, Double-Stranded
  • DNA