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Taq polymerase is a thermostable DNA polymerase named after the thermophilic bacterium Thermus aquaticus from which it was originally isolated by Thomas D. Brock in 1965. It is often abbreviated to "Taq Pol", and is frequently used in polymerase chain reaction, a method for greatly amplifying short segments of DNA. T. aquaticus is a bacterium that lives in hot springs and hydrothermal vents, and Taq polymerase was identified as an enzyme able to withstand the protein-denaturing conditions required during PCR. Therefore it replaced the DNA polymerase from E. coli originally used in PCR. Taq's optimum temperature for activity is 75–80°C, with a half-life of greater than 2 hours at 92.5°C, 40 minutes at 95°C and 9 minutes at 97.5°C, and can replicate a 1000 base pair strand of DNA in less than 10 seconds at 72°C. One of Taq's drawbacks is its relatively low replication fidelity. It lacks a 3' to 5' exonuclease proofreading activity, and has an error rate measured at about 1 in 9,000 nucleotides. The remaining two domains however may act in coordination, via coupled domain motion. Some thermostable DNA polymerases have been isolated from other thermophilic bacteria and archaea, such as Pfu DNA polymerase, possessing a proofreading activity, and are being used instead of Taq for high-fidelity amplification.
U.S. National Library of Medicine
A heat stable DNA-DIRECTED DNA POLYMERASE from the bacteria Thermus aquaticus. It is widely used for the amplification of genes through the process of POLYMERASE CHAIN REACTION. EC 2.7.7.-.
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"taq polymerase." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2015. Web. 2 Dec. 2015. <http://www.definitions.net/definition/taq polymerase>.