New England Biolabs: Reagents for the Life Sciences Industry

DNA Polymerase Selection Chart

The following table lists properties that should be considered when choosing a polymerase. Since these properties can depend on reaction conditions, the primary references should be consulted prior to use in a given application.

  5′–>3′ Exonuclease 3′–>5′ Exonuclease Error Rate(x10-6)a Strand Displacement Nick Translation Thermal Stability Km dNTPs Km DNAd Extend RNA Primer Extension from Nick Primary
Applications
Bst DNA Polymerase,
Full Length
+   _r + +     + + Labeling, 2nd Strand
Synthesis, Strand Displacement
Bst DNA Polymerase,
Large Fragment

  ++++ +     + + Strand Displacement Applications
Bsu DNA Polymerase,
Large Fragment
  ++     + + Labeling, 2nd Strand Synthesis, Strand Displacement
Crimson Taq
DNA Polymerase
+ 285 _r + ++     + PCR (routine)
Deep VentR
DNA Polymerase
+++   ++ ++++ 50 µMe 0.01 nMe + PCR (high-fidelity)
Deep VentR (exo–)
DNA Polymerase
  +++ ++++     + PCR (long)
E. coli DNA
Polymerase I
+ ++ 9h _r + 1-2 µMf 5 nMf + + Nick Translation
Klenow Fragment (3′→5′ exo-) 100o +++     + + Labeling
DNA Polymerase I,
Large (Klenow) Fragment
++ 18o ++ 2 µMg   + + Polishing Ends
LongAmp® Taq DNA
Polymerase
+ ++ ~140 _r + ++     + PCR (routine, long)
LongAmp® Hot Start Taq
DNA Polymerase
+ ++ ~140 _r + ++     + PCR (hot start, long)
M-MuLV Reverse
Transcriptase
  +++ 18 µMs       cDNA Synthesis
OneTaq®
DNA Polymerase
+ ++ ~140
_r + ++     + PCR (routine, difficult)
OneTaq® Hot Start
DNA Polymerase
+ ++ ~140
_r + ++     + PCR (hot start, routine, difficult)
phi29 DNA Polymerase ++++   +++++ 0.5 µMq   + + Strand Displacement
Applications
Phusion® Hot Start
Flex DNA Polymerase*
++++ <0.44 +++     PCR (high-fidelity, long)
Phusion® High-Fidelity
DNA Polymerase*
++++ <0.44 +++     PCR (high-fidelity, long, hot start)
Q5® + Q5® Hot Start DNA Polymerase ++++ <0.44 +++    
PCR (high-fidelity)
Sulfolobus DNA
Polymerase IV
  +         DNA Synthesis Across
Template Lesions
T4 DNA Polymerase ++++ <1h 2 µMn   + Polishing Ends,
2nd Strand Synthesis
T7 DNA Polymerase
(unmodified)
++++ 15b 18 µMk 18 nMk + Site Directed Mutagenesis
Taq DNA Polymerase
with Standard Taq Buffer
+ 285c _r + ++ 13 µMe 2 nMe + PCR (routine)
Therminator™ DNA
Polymerase
  + ++++     + + Chain Terminator
Applications
VentR® DNA
Polymerase
++ 57b ++e +++ 60 µMe 0.1 nMe + PCR (routine, high-fidelity)
VentR® (exo–)
DNA Polymerase
190b +++e +++ 40 µMe 0.1 nMe + PCR, Sequencing

Deep VentR™ and Therminator™ are trademarks of New England Biolabs, Inc.
Q5®, LongAmp®, OneTaq®, VentR® are registered trademarks of New England Biolabs, Inc.

* Notice to Customers:
Phusion® DNA Polymerase was developed by Finnzymes Oy, now a part of Thermo Fisher Scientific. This product is manufactured by New England Biolabs, Inc. under agreement with, and under the performance specifications of Thermo Fisher Scientific.
Phusion® is registered trademark and property of Thermo Fisher Scientific.

References:

  1. Measured by the opal reversion assay of Kunkel et al. [(1987) Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA, 84, 4865–4869 PMID: 3474631] which reflects the error rate for a single round of gap-filling DNA synthesis. Several alternative assays are also available, although comparing error frequencies among these assays is complicated because they measure different aspects of error introduction. 
  2. Mattila, P., Korpela, J., Tenkanen, T. and Pitkanen, K. (1991) Nucleic Acids Res., 19, 4967–4973. PMID: 8420970
  3. Tindall, K.R. and Kunkel, T.A. (1988) Biochemistry, 27, 6008–6013. PMID: 2847780
  4. Km values for DNA are expressed in terms of moles of primer-template complexes. 
  5. Kong, H.M., Kucera, R.B. and Jack, W.E., (1993) J. Biol. Chem., 268, 1965–1975. PMID: 8420970
  6. McClure, W.R. and Jovin, T.M. (1975) J. Biol. Chem., 250, 4073–4080. PMID: 1092683
  7. Polesky, A.H., Steitz, T.A., Grindley, N.D.F. and Joyce, C.M. (1990) J. Biol. Chem., 265, 14579–14591. PIMD: 2201688
  8. Kunkel, T.A., Loeb, L.A. and Goodman, M.F. (1984) J. Biol. Chem., 259, 1539–1545 PIMD: 6229537
  1. Patel, S.S., Wong, E. and Johnson, K.A. (1991) Biochemistry, 30, 511–525. PIMD: 1846298
  1. Gillin, F.D. and Nossal, N.G. (1975) Biochem. Biophys. Res. Commun., 64, 457–464. PIMD: 1170851
  2. Bebenek, K., Joyce, C.M., Fitzgerald, M.P. and Kunkel, T.A. (1990) J. Biol. Chem., 265, 13878–13887. PIMD: 2199444
  3. Southworth, M.W. et al. (1996) Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA, 93, 5281–5285. PIMD: 8643567
  4. Saturno, J., Blanco, L., Salas, M. and Esteban, J.A. (1995) J. Biol. Chem., 270, 31235–31243. PIMD: 8537389
  5. Destroys displaced strand. 
  6. Ricchetti, M. and Buc, H. (1990) EMBO J. 9, 1583-1593. PIMD: 1691709