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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Diagnostic Kit for Testing DNA-Containing Samples
See also: US Patent Office Full Record


Patent Number: 6410223
Docket Number: 20194
Serial Number: 8334085
Date Patented: 06/25/2002

Technology Description:

Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) techniques have provided sensitive and specific means for testing for the presence of DNA-containing samples, such as living contaminants in imported agricultural commodities. The procedure has drawbacks, however, including the need for multiple, time-consuming and expensive steps, and the inability to distinguish between living and dead cellular materials.

The technology provides a simplified diagnostic kit and two-step direct PCR method which combines biological and enzymatic amplification of PCR targets. Advantages over conventional PCR include the exclusive detection of living cells, a 100 to 1000 fold increase in sensitivity, the elimination of PCR inhibitors often associated with environmental samples, and elimination of the need for DNA purification prior to amplification.

The technology is applicable to the microbiological, environmental, and biotechnology industries engaged in detecting living contaminants. Additionally, it is useful for companies studying epidemiology, host-pathogen relations, biopesticide risk assessment, and soil and water environmental sampling.


Please refer to Patent Number 6,410,223, "A Direct Polymerase Chain Reaction Assay, or BIO-PCR," which issued June 25, 2002.


Norman W. Schaad
Foreign Disease-Weed Science Research
Fort Detrick, MD 21702-5023
(301) 619-2847 / Fax: (301) 619-2880
E. Hatziloukas
Department of Plant Pathology
University of California
Berkeley, CA 94720
(510) 643-8959 / Fax: (510) 643-3845

N. J. Panopoulos
Department of Plant Pathology
University of California
Berkeley, CA 94720
(510) 643-8959 / Fax: (510) 643-3845






Last Modified: 10/1/2015
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