Canadian Forest Service Publications

Assessing the performance capabilities of LRE-based assays for absolute quantitative real-time PCR. 2010. Rutledge, R.G.; Stewart, D. PLoS ONE 5(3): 11 p.

Year: 2010

Available from: Laurentian Forestry Centre

Catalog ID: 31536

Language: English

CFS Availability: PDF (request by e-mail)


Background: Linear regression of efficiency or LRE introduced a new paradigm for conducting absolute quantification, which does not require standard curves, can generate absolute accuracies of ±25% and has single molecule sensitivity. Derived from adapting the classic Boltzmann sigmoidal function to PCR, target quantity is calculated directly from the fluorescence readings within the central region of an amplification profile, generating 4–8 determinations from each amplification reaction.

Findings: Based on generating a linear representation of PCR amplification, the highly visual nature of LRE analysis is illustrated by varying reaction volume and amplification efficiency, which also demonstrates how LRE can be used to model PCR. Examining the dynamic range of LRE further demonstrates that quantitative accuracy can be maintained down to a single target molecule, and that target quantification below ten molecules conforms to that predicted by Poisson distribution. Essential to the universality of optical calibration, the fluorescence intensity generated by SYBR Green I (FU/bp) is shown to be independent of GC content and amplicon size, further verifying that absolute scale can be established using a single quantitative standard. Two high-performance lambda amplicons are also introduced that in addition to producing highly precise optical calibrations, can be used as benchmarks for performance testing. The utility of limiting dilution assay for conducting platform-independent absolute quantification is also discussed, along with the utility of defining assay performance in terms of absolute accuracy.

Conclusions: Founded on the ability to exploit lambda gDNA as a universal quantitative standard, LRE provides the ability to conduct absolute quantification using few resources beyond those needed for sample preparation and amplification. Combined with the quantitative and quality control capabilities of LRE, this kinetic-based approach has the potential to fundamentally transform how real-time qPCR is conducted.

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