Standard Article

You have free access to this content

Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR)

  1. Paul C Winter

Published Online: 23 SEP 2005

DOI: 10.1038/npg.els.0005339



How to Cite

Winter, P. C. 2005. Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR). eLS. .

Author Information

  1. Belfast City Hospital, Belfast, UK

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 23 SEP 2005


The polymerase chain reaction is a technique that allows DNA molecules of interest (usually gene sequences) to be copied in a simple enzyme reaction producing a sufficient quantity of the copied DNA for detailed analysis or manipulation. The method is a basic tool in molecular biology with widespread applications in biological and medical research.


  • DNA polymerase;
  • Taq;
  • primer;
  • template;
  • amplification