PerlPrimer is a free, open-source GUI application written in Perl that designs primers for standard PCR, bisulphite PCR, real-time PCR (QPCR) and sequencing. It aims to automate and simplify the process of primer design.
PerlPrimer's current features include the following:
- Calculation of possible primer-dimers
- Retrieval of genomic or cdna sequences from Ensembl (including both sequences automatically for QPCR)
- Ability to BLAST search primers using the NCBI server or a local server
- Results can be saved or optionally exported in a tab-delimited format that is compatible with most spreadsheet applications.
- ORF and CpG island detection algorithms
- Ability to add cloning sequences to primers, automatically adjusted to be in-frame
- QPCR primer design without manual intron-exon boundary entry
PerlPrimer calculates primer melting temperature using J. SantaLucia's extensive nearest-neighbour thermodynamic parameters. To adjust for the salt conditions of the PCR, PerlPrimer uses the empirical formula derived by von Ahsen, et al. (2001) and allows the user to specify the concentration of Mg2 , dNTPs and primers, or use standard PCR conditions. The result is a highly accurate prediction of primer melting temperature, giving rise to a maximum yeild of product when amplified.