According to principles of detection technology, extensively applied gene detection primarily consists of gene sequencing, PCR based on nucleic acid amplification, FISH based on fluorescence in situ hybridization, gene chip technology and mass spectrometry, etc.. Among them, PCR, nucleic acid hybridization and DNA sequencing are three major foundations of gene detection.
Nowadays, polymerase chain reaction (PCR) is the most extensively applied gene detection technology. It is a new molecular biological technique invented by Mullis in the 1980s. Compared with traditional detection methods in the fields of biochemistriy, bacteriology, virology and serology, etc., PCR is strongly specific, highly sensitive, easy to operate, rapid and efficient. In terms of pathogeny, it can be used to detect pathogene and strains of pathogeny in different types or the same type. Particularly, it is suitable for detection of viruses and bacteria that cannot be easily cultured.
PCR mainly consists of conventional PCR and real-time PCR. Moreover, real-time PCR has been widely applied in detection of various causes of diseases, disease diagnosis as well as tumor and genetic disease screening, etc. thanks to its advantages (e.g., being highly sensitive, quantitative, simple, convenient and safe).