What is the Difference Between PCR and qPCR

During these times when the COVID-19 epidemic has not subsided, PCR experiments are familiar to many laboratories. PCR, Real-Time PCR, and qPCR are terms that are commonly seen when dealing with PCR experiments. So are they the same things, and if not, how to distinguish them. This article will introduce and explain the differences between PCR and qPCR.

PCR and qPCR

The full name of PCR is Polymerase Chain Reaction. Specifically, it is a method for enzymatically synthesizing specific DNA fragments in vitro. It consists of high-temperature denaturation, low-temperature annealing, and temperature-optimized extension reactions to form a cycle with multiple cycles. Such a process can rapidly amplify the experimental small fragments of DNA. PCR experiments can be used for cloning, nucleic acid analysis, but also for disease diagnosis or anywhere else where DNA and RNA is present.
PCR and qPCR are two techniques commonly used in laboratories to amplify DNA. PCR is relatively simple, while qPCR is relatively more complex and precise.
The full name of qPCR is Quantitative PCR, also known as real-time PCR. qPCR refers to the addition of chemical substances containing fluorescent dyes or fluorescent groups in the PCR amplification reaction, and the changes in the amount of amplified products in all cycles are monitored in real time by collecting fluorescent signals during the entire PCR process. Finally, the quantitative analysis of the samples to be tested was carried out through the standard curve and CT value.


  • The main difference between PCR and qPCR is that PCR is a qualitative technique used to identify the presence or absence of DNA fragments whereas qPCR is a quantitative technique that quantifies the amount of DNA amplified in each cycle.
  • In terms of application, PCR can analyze short DNA sequences by amplifying selected DNA fragments. Whereas QPCR can be applied to various detection and quantification of nucleic acids.
  • In terms of resolution, qPCR has very high resolution, while PCR has poor resolution.
  • In terms of product detection, PCR products were detected by agarose gel electrophoresis. In contrast, qPCR can detect products during each amplification cycle.
  • In terms of staining, fluorescent dyes are used to detect products in qPCR reactions, while ethidium bromide can be used to stain products in PCR.
  • In terms of time spent, PCR takes more time to complete the entire reaction process, while qPCR is a time-saving operation with a short time spent.
  • In terms of data collection, PCR reactions collect data at the end, while qPCR reactions collect data during the exponential phase.

The above is all the difference between PCR and qPCR. They are very similar technologies but have many differences. We hope the content of this article can help you distinguish them. If you need to buy PCR-related experimental supplies, Hawach has very guaranteed PCR plates and PCR tubes for sale. Looking forward to becoming a long-term cooperative partner with you.