complementary base pairing


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complementary base pairing

[‚käm·plə¦men·tə·rē ¦bās ′per·iŋ]
(cell and molecular biology)
The formation of weak hydrogen bonds between complementary nitrogenous bases (for example, guanine and cytosine) on opposite strands of a double-stranded nucleic acid molecule (such as deoxyribonucleic acid), contributing to the overall stability of the double-stranded structure.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
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However, Taq was eventually found to be susceptible to errors in complementary base pairing during primer extension (see section on PCR protocol); and although the Taq polymerase is still used, many investigators currently prefer to use the DNA polymeruse cloned from Pyrococcus furiosus (Pfu), an organism that grows optimally in geothermal marine sediments at 100 [degrees] C.
This is achieved by heating the dsDNA at 94 [degrees] C for 1 minute, disrupting the hydrogen bonds required for complementary base pairing. The resulting two ssDNA molecules permit the bases of each strand to undergo annealing to primers, during which new hydrogen bonds form between the complementary bases of the primers and ssDNA.
Next, the temperature is lowered to about 60 C, causing the primers to bind to the separated strands by complementary base pairing.
When linked by complementary base pairing, the two strands that comprise dsDNA are called sense and antisense strands, where the DNA antisense strand is the complementary base pair copy of the DNA sense strand [ILLUSTRATION FOR FIGURE 2 OMITTED].

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