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Short sequence of DNA which hybridises to a locus within a genome and is used to initate replication of a unit of DNA through the DNA polymerase enzyme. Essential for PCR

Oligonucleotide usually synthesised which initate replication of a much large locus through a DNA polymerase enzyme. If the DNA polymerase is Taq or a similar heat resistant enzyme the process of replication is known as PCR. A primer can be labeled with a tag such as a fluorecent label of e.g. biotin for subsequent reporting in for example qPCR or size fragment identification. The concept is central to next generation sequencing.