Plant Molecular Biology Reporter

, Volume 27, Issue 3, pp 315-320

First online:

Arbitrary Multi-gene Reference for Normalization of Real-Time PCR Gene Expression Data

  • Helen H. TaiAffiliated withAgriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Potato Research Centre Email author 
  • , Gregory ConnAffiliated withAgriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Potato Research Centre
  • , Charlotte DavidsonAffiliated withAgriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Potato Research Centre
  • , H. W. (Bud) PlattAffiliated withAgriculture and Agri-food Canada, Crops and Livestock Research Centre

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Analysis of gene expression using real-time reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) requires reference genes to normalize expression values between samples. We have developed a novel reference for real-time RT-PCR using an arbitrary primer to amplify a random set of genes. The arbitrary primer amplifies over 30 genes, whose cumulative expression as measured by real-time RT-PCR closely follows that of UBQ 11, an Arabidopsis thaliana gene that is used as a reference on microarrays. The expression of arbitrary genes is also compared with potato (Solanum tuberosum spp. tubersosum) housekeeping genes and was shown to be stable during Phytophthora infestans infection.


Arbitrary primers Gene expression Real-time PCR Reference genes