Approach to genotyping errors caused by nontemplated nucleotide addition by Taq DNA polymerase

Jeffrey R. Smith, John D. Carpten, Michael J. Brownstein, Soumitra Ghosh, Victoria L. Magnuson, Dennis A. Gilbert, Jeffrey M. Trent, Francis S. Collins

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Thermostable DNA polymerases can catalyze nontemplated addition of a nucleotide to the 3' end of amplification products. This presents a potential source of error in genotyping studies employing Taq DNA polymerase to amplify microsatellite loci. Although the activity is marker specific, experimental variation is often seen in the degree of modification. Consequently, for a given microsatellite marker, an allele may be inconsistently identified as either the unmodified or modified amplification product. Full automation of high-throughput genotyping has been hampered by the need for manual editing of data because of this source of allele misidentification. In this study we estimate a 1% to 3% error rate attributable to nontemplated nucleotide addition in the ABI PRISM genotyping system. We present a PCR-based strategy to minimize this source of error.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)312-317
Number of pages6
JournalGenome research
Issue number3
StatePublished - Oct 1995
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics
  • Genetics(clinical)


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