A primer is a short, single-stranded DNA sequence used in the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) technique. In the PCR method, a pair of primers is used to hybridize with the sample DNA and define the region of the DNA that will be amplified. Primers are also referred to as oligonucleotides.
To play the media you will need to either update your browser to a recent version or update your Flash plugin
Primer refers to a small set of nucleotides of DNA, typically 18 to 24 base pairs in length. And a primer can be used for a multitude of other experimental processes. You can use primer in PCR to target a locus to allow for amplification for further analysis. You'd use a primer for sequencing a sequencing reaction where you want to target a very specific region and then do analysis in the extension of that DNA molecule.
Stacie Loftus, Ph.D.
Associate Investigator, Genetic Disease Research Branch
Dr. Loftus's research focuses on the genetic and cellular processes that control mammalian development with the goal of developing a better understanding of inborn errors of embryonic development. Although finding the genes responsible for such conditions does not automatically lead to a cure, such findings can give important clues about what is going wrong at the cellular level, and animal models carrying these genetic alterations can provide researchers with useful ways to test potential therapies. As part of the Mouse Embryology Section, led by Dr. William Pavan, Dr. Loftus is analyzing the molecular and genetic basis of neural crest development.