Why You Should Use PCR Master Mixes

With polymerase chain reaction (PCR), scientists are able to harness the power of the genome. The PCR process is an essential tool in biology because it allows an ample supply of DNA segments to be generated from relatively small samples. Although PCR reactions can be finicky and unpredictable, the use of a PCR master mix can help avoid these issues and contribute to the success of your PCR assay.

PCR mix usually contains Taq DNA polymerase, dNTPs, and MgCl2, as well as enhancers and stabilisers in a buffer that is optimised for DNA amplification by PCR.

Benefits of PCR Mix

Using PCR master mix offers the benefit of convenience. Due to the ease of integration and optimization of the formula, the pre-assay preparation time is drastically reduced. 

Even in high-volume assay environments, PCR master mixes ensure consistent results, and because fewer pipetting steps are involved, contamination is less likely. With a PCR master mix, you can get a faster setup with fewer pipettes. Once a mix is prepared, it can be divided among pipettes to save time. Reduced scope for pipetting reduces experimental error, contamination, and variability between tubes.

PCR master mix
What is added to a PCR Master Mix? 
  • Primers
  • Detection Dye or Probes
  • Sample
  • RNAse-free water
PCR Master Mix Formats

There are two major formats of PCR master mixes – Liquid format and lyophilized/ freeze-dried format. Liquid master mixes are most often used for PCR. Generally, liquid PCR master mixes need to be stored between -20°C and -4°C, and they are less expensive than lyophilized ones. Prior to use in a PCR assay, they are thawed.

PCR master mixes that are lyophilized, or freeze-dried, can be shipped at ambient temperatures. Master mixes that have been lyophilized can also be stored at ambient temperatures for an extended period of time. Prior to use, the master mix is reconstituted with the accompanying buffer solution.

PCR Tube
Our PCR Mastermixes

Our range of highly efficient PCR products from Microzone and HighQu are designed to optimise and streamline research, whatever the system.

  1. MegaMix and MegaMix Double: A ready-to-use PCR master mix containing recombinant Taq polymerase. MegaMix reactions contain 1 unit of Taq along with all the other fixed components needed – highly pure dNTPs, reaction buffer, and a superb enzyme stabiliser. The reaction also has a final concentration of 2.5 mM MgCl2. 
  2. MegaMix Blue and MegaMix Blue Double: This PCR master mix has all the benefits of Megamix plus the added benefit of blue agarose loading dye, making visualisation easier and eliminating the need for extra gel loading buffers. Megamix-Blue Double offers all the benefits of Megamix-Blue at twice the concentration.
  3. MegaMix Gold: This PCR mix is designed specifically for success, even with the toughest PCR systems. Megamix-Gold is an elite hot start PCR master mix, the champion of PCR mixes. With double concentration, it contains all the components needed to amplify DNA quickly and reliably. It minimises background and maximises yields.
  4. MegaMix Emerald: The 2X mix contains chemically modified Hot Start Taq DNA polymerase, intercalating dye (microGREEN), dUTP and UNG in enhancing buffer, optimised for amplifying low-copy DNA targets. The third-generation intercalating fluorescent dye (microGREEN), binds to double-stranded DNA, making MegaMix Emerald the perfect choice for qPCR, Melt Curve Analysis and is ideal for use with MegaMix HRM (High Resolution Melting).

The use of a PCR master mix makes a PCR experiment more efficient and timely. It eliminates the need for tedious steps and hastens the process. As PCR continues to improve the nature of molecular and biochemical science, PCR master mixes are proving to be more effective and useful every day. 

To browse through more of our PCR and qPCR products, click here