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Product Watch: IDT's PrimerQuest; Hamilton Robotics' PCR Setup STARLet


Integrated DNA Technologies has launched an enhanced version of the open access PrimerQuest online tool for PCR primer and probe design.

The new version features optimized selection parameters with built-in presets for a diverse range of applications, IDT said. The tool also features expanded compatibility with multiple sequence entry formats, and a more intuitive user interface, which help streamline the process of setting up a PCR or qPCR experiment, the company said.

PrimerQuest is ideal for a variety of sequencing and endpoint PCR applications, with updated default parameter pre-sets (GC clamp, Poly X, and Pair max difference Tm), and overall improved parameter criteria for primer/probe size, Tm, and GC percentage.

PrimerQuest is based on the Primer 3 primer-design program, and delivers designs derived from user-specified information such as reaction conditions (e.g., MgCl2 and dNTP concentrations). Users can designate target locations, exon junctions, or existing primer and probe locations to obtain designs for specific experimental requirements. In addition, PrimerQuest's new batch load setting can be used to analyze up to 50 sequences at a time; and primers can now be ordered in plate format for high-throughput PCR studies.

IDT also said that it has improved PrimerQuest's ability to integrate with other software programs. Sequences can now be uploaded in Excel format, or can even be manually entered and manipulated.

Hamilton Robotics has introduced the PCR Setup STARLet workstation, an automated liquid-handling system that the company said can accommodate any DNA amplification reagent kit.

PCR setup STARlet is suitable for a wide range of applications such as gene expression, genotyping, sequencing, or mutagenesis, Hamilton said. It has been developed for different PCR types such as endpoint, quantitative, multiplex, or linear PCR. The workstation also has an increased deck capacity of 25 plates and a smaller footprint than other systems in its class, the company said. Although developed for 96- or 384-well PCR plates, the system can be used with different labware types, such as strips or even rotor gene discs.