UNIT 3.6 Template-Independent DNA Polymerases

  1. Dongxian Yue1,
  2. Stanley Tabor2,
  3. Nicole M. Nichols1

Published Online: 1 OCT 2008

DOI: 10.1002/0471142727.mb0306s84

Current Protocols in Molecular Biology

Current Protocols in Molecular Biology

How to Cite

Yue, D., Tabor, S. and Nichols, N. M. 2008. Template-Independent DNA Polymerases. Current Protocols in Molecular Biology. 84:III:3.6:3.6.1–3.6.3.

Author Information

  1. 1

    New England Biolabs, Ipswich, Massachusetts

  2. 2

    Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 1 OCT 2008
  2. Published Print: OCT 2008


Terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase (TdT), is a template-independent DNA polymerase that catalyzes the incorporation of deoxynucleotides at the 3′-hydroxyl terminus of DNA, accompanied by the release of inorganic phosphate. TdT does not require a template and will not copy one. Reaction conditions and some applications are described in this unit, including cloning DNA fragments, labeling the 3′ terminus of DNA with 32P or nonradioactive tags, synthesizing model polydeoxynucleotide homopolymers, and detecting DNA damage and apoptotic cells. Curr. Protoc. Mol. Biol. 84:3.6.1-3.6.3. © 2008 by John Wiley & Sons, Inc.


  • terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase;
  • TdT;
  • DNA 3′-end labeling;
  • DNA tailing;
  • TUNEL assay