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New amplification kit from Amersham


Amersham Biosciences has launched a new DNA Amplification Kit, GenomiPhi, which it says can simplify the DNA preparation process and enable high-quality DNA to be prepared from a limited amount of biological material.

The company affirms that it has validated the technique via feedback from researchers worldwide for use in cancer research, population genetics, environmental studies, plant genomics and molecular cloning.

The new method employs the biochemical properties of Phi29 DNA polymerase, a highly processive enzyme with good strand displacement activity and high fidelity, in combination with random-sequence hexamer primers to amplify DNA in an isothermal process. This is the only Phi 29 DNA polymerase-based product that can be sold for nucleic acid research use under applicable patents, according to Amersham .

The isothermal method employed by GenomiPhi kit allows microgram quantities of DNA to be produced overnight from nanogram amounts of starting material, with hands-on lab time of just 20 minutes. The process also eliminates the need for a thermocycler, which simplifies the customer's workflow.

"This method offers an advantage over traditional matrix-based purification columns for genomic DNA preparation where the DNA yield depends on sufficient starting quantities of high quality source material," said Amersham.

The source material for the kit can be purified DNA or lysed cells from whole blood, buccal swabs, cell-blotted paper, plant tissue and microorganisms. The amplified DNA preserves original single nucleotide polymorphism information and can be used in various applications including SNP genotyping and short tandem repeat genotyping, polymerase chain reaction and library construction.

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