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Computational analysis of stochastic heterogeneity in PCR amplification efficiency revealed by single molecule barcoding

Best, K; Oakes, T; Heather, JM; Shawe-Taylor, J; Chain, B; (2015) Computational analysis of stochastic heterogeneity in PCR amplification efficiency revealed by single molecule barcoding. Scientific Reports , 5 , Article 14629. 10.1038/srep14629. Green open access

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Abstract

The polymerase chain reaction (PCR) is one of the most widely used techniques in molecular biology. In combination with High Throughput Sequencing (HTS), PCR is widely used to quantify transcript abundance for RNA-seq, and in the context of analysis of T and B cell receptor repertoires. In this study, we combine DNA barcoding with HTS to quantify PCR output from individual target molecules. We develop computational tools that simulate both the PCR branching process itself, and the subsequent subsampling which typically occurs during HTS sequencing. We explore the influence of different types of heterogeneity on sequencing output, and compare them to experimental results where the efficiency of amplification is measured by barcodes uniquely identifying each molecule of starting template. Our results demonstrate that the PCR process introduces substantial amplification heterogeneity, independent of primer sequence and bulk experimental conditions. This heterogeneity can be attributed both to inherited differences between different template DNA molecules, and the inherent stochasticity of the PCR process. The results demonstrate that PCR heterogeneity arises even when reaction and substrate conditions are kept as constant as possible, and therefore single molecule barcoding is essential in order to derive reproducible quantitative results from any protocol combining PCR with HTS.

Type: Article
Title: Computational analysis of stochastic heterogeneity in PCR amplification efficiency revealed by single molecule barcoding
Location: England
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1038/srep14629
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/srep14629
Language: English
Additional information: This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in the credit line; if the material is not included under the Creative Commons license, users will need to obtain permission from the license holder to reproduce the material. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Medical Sciences > Div of Infection and Immunity
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science > Dept of Computer Science
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1474324
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