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Difference between RT-PCR and QPCR

Difference between RT-PCR and QPCR

Real-time polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) and quantitative PCR (QPCR) are two powerful molecular biology techniques used to measure the abundance of a particular gene or mRNA transcript. While both RT-PCR and QPCR are based on PCR, there are key differences between the two methods. In this article, we will explore the differences between RT-PCR and QPCR, and discuss when each technique is most appropriate.

What is RT-PCR?

RT-PCR is a laboratory technique used to amplify and detect specific RNA sequences. RT-PCR is often used to detect viral RNA, making it a valuable tool for diagnosing infections such as COVID-19. The RT-PCR process begins with the extraction of RNA from a sample of cells or tissue. This RNA is then reverse transcribed into cDNA using an enzyme called reverse transcriptase. The cDNA is then amplified using PCR, and the resulting products are analyzed by gel electrophoresis or other means. RT-PCR is highly sensitive and can be used to detect even small amounts of RNA. However, RT-PCR can also produce false positive results, so it is important to confirm positive results using another method.

What is QPCR?

QPCR is a method of detecting and quantifying specific DNA or RNA targets. QPCR stands for “quantitative PCR.” It is a modification of the traditional PCR (polymerase chain reaction) method that is used to make multiple copies of a specific section of DNA or RNA. QPCR is used to measure the amount of target DNA or RNA in a sample. QPCR can be used to detect and quantify genetic mutations, gene expression, and other features of DNA and RNA samples.

QPCR is a powerful tool that is used in many research applications, including cancer research, drug development, and forensics. QPCR is also used in clinical diagnostics, such as prenatal testing and disease outbreaks. QPCR has many advantages over other methods of detecting and quantifying DNA and RNA. QPCR is more sensitive than other methods, it is more specific, it is less expensive, and it can be done quickly.

Difference between RT-PCR and QPCR

RT-PCR and QPCR are two methods of detecting and quantifying nucleic acids. Both methods rely on the polymerase chain reaction (PCR), which is a process that amplifies small amounts of nucleic acid. RT-PCR is typically used to detect RNA, while QPCR is primarily used to detect DNA. RT-PCR involves reverse transcription, which converts RNA into cDNA. QPCR does not require reverse transcription, as it can amplify both DNA and RNA. RT-PCR is more sensitive than QPCR, but QPCR is more specific. RT-PCR is also faster and easier to perform. Overall, RT-PCR and QPCR are both useful tools for detecting nucleic acids, but each has its own advantages and disadvantages.


The two main types of PCR are RT-PCR and QPCR. RT-PCR is used to amplify DNA or RNA sequences from a small amount of starting material, while QPCR is used to quantitate the number of target molecules in a sample. Both methods have their own advantages and disadvantages, which we’ve outlined for you here. Ultimately, the choice of which type of PCR to use depends on the specific application and research question being asked.

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