Ligase chain reaction

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A method of detecting a specific nucleotide sequence with some similarities to polymerase chain reaction.[1][2][3] Like PCR, it uses DNA polymerase and specific primers designed to bind to the target. However, unlike PCR, the primers are not used to amplify the DNA sequence between the primers. Instead, if the target sequence is present, both primers will hybridize so that one primer will lie directly adjacent to the second primer of the pair. In the presence of DNA ligase, these 2 primers are joined to form a single strand and the target sequence will have been effectively duplicated. In the presence of a mutation or if the target sequence is not present, the primers will not bind and ligation will not occur. As the cycle is repeated, only the target sequence (if it is present) is amplified.

Clinically, it used diagnostically, e.g. in detection of Chlamydia trachomatis in the urine.