Taq Polymerase Workshops
Tom Burkett is the director of the Biotechnology and Biomanufacturing program at the Community College of Baltimore County and the Hub director for the NBC2 mid-Atlantic region.
The Taq polymerase is arguably one of the most, if not the most, used enzyme in biotechnology as reflected by being named Science magazines molecule of the year in 1989. The cloning and purification of Taq polymerase was the enabling event behind the development and dramatic growth of the polymerase chain reaction.
For a number of years we have made use of a group of exercises centered on the cloning, expression, and purification of Taq polymerase as a theme running through the recombinant DNA and Biomanufacturing courses within our Biotechnology and Biomanufacturing program at CCBC. The activities forge a connection between what happens in the research laboratory where a protein encoding gene may be cloned and the manufacturing suit where it is finally produced. Quality control and activity assays round out the exercise.
In this series of workshops we will go through the process of cloning by amplification of the Taq polymerase gene and its subsequent expression and analysis. Attendees will go away with validated procedures that they can take back to their classroom, sources of materials and experience in the PCR amplification, purification, and quality activity assays for the pol I gene and protein from Thermus aquaticus.
This workshop will focus on the PCR amplification and cloning of Taq polymerase. We will start with purified genomic DNA but methods and procedures will also be presented for the growth of T. aquaticus and DNA isolation for those interested in starting at the beginning.