Product differentiation by analysis of DNA melting curves during the polymerase chain reaction

Anal Biochem. 1997 Feb 15;245(2):154-60. doi: 10.1006/abio.1996.9916.


A microvolume fluorometer integrated with a thermal cycler was used to acquire DNA melting curves during polymerase chain reaction by fluorescence monitoring of the double-stranded DNA specific dye SYBR Green I. Plotting fluorescence as a function of temperature as the thermal cycler heats through the dissociation temperature of the product gives a DNA melting curve. The shape and position of this DNA melting curve are functions of the GC/AT ratio, length, and sequence and can be used to differentiate amplification products separated by less than 2 degrees C in melting temperature. Desired products can be distinguished from undesirable products, in many cases eliminating the need for gel electrophoresis. Analysis of melting curves can extend the dynamic range of initial template quantification when amplification is monitored with double-stranded DNA specific dyes. Complete amplification and analysis of products can be performed in less than 15 min.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Benzothiazoles
  • DNA / chemistry*
  • Diamines
  • Electrophoresis
  • Fluorescence
  • Fluorescent Dyes
  • Fluorometry / instrumentation
  • Fluorometry / methods
  • Organic Chemicals*
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction / instrumentation
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction / methods*
  • Quinolines
  • Temperature


  • Benzothiazoles
  • Diamines
  • Fluorescent Dyes
  • Organic Chemicals
  • Quinolines
  • SYBR Green I
  • DNA