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PCR Suite

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Real-Time PCR at Fera



A real-time polymerase chain reaction is a laboratory technique of molecular biology based on the polymerase chain reaction (PCR).

It monitors the amplification of a targeted DNA molecule during the PCR, i.e. in real-time, and not at its end, as in conventional PCR. Real-time PCR can be used qualititatively (Qualititative real-time PCR) as well as quantitatively, ie is the target molecule present?

We have a suite on site which houses 5 real-time PCR machines which deliver various services to industry including our eDNA detection service & elements of the OriGen 'Traceback' Service.




Rapid improvement in this technology over recent years has allowed for the widespread adoption of real-time PCR for uses in microbial detection across a large range of matrices.

PCR methods allow for high specificity and accuracy with improved sensitivity, & as such are gaining credibility as an assurance tool within the food industry. This rapid improvement in technology is continuing to change the way we view this technology with ever more uses within pathogen detection being utilised within routine testing.

Our PCR uses are not limited to the food industry, with Fera taking advantage of this technology within our Potato tuber testing capabilities.




This Real-time PCR method delivers not only accuracy and precision, but it has completely revolutionised the detection of DNA.

Traditional PCR has advanced from detection at the end-point of the reaction to detection while the reaction is occurring, offering improved detection timescales & shorter lead times within large scale testing.

There are also a whole host of added benefits, such as;

  • Detection is no longer as time consuming with results during the reactions and without the need for post PCR visualisation techniques, bringing in automation to many manual processes
  • Improved specificity (no longer size based discrimination and where using reaction chemistries with an additional probe)
  • Greater sensitivity in terms of levels of detection (detection based on fluorescence rather than visualisation)