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Primer Design with Specific PCR Product using Particle Swarm Optimization

Authors: Cheng-Hong Yang, Yu-Huei Cheng, Hsueh-Wei Chang, Li-Yeh Chuang


Before performing polymerase chain reactions (PCR), a feasible primer set is required. Many primer design methods have been proposed for design a feasible primer set. However, the majority of these methods require a relatively long time to obtain an optimal solution since large quantities of template DNA need to be analyzed. Furthermore, the designed primer sets usually do not provide a specific PCR product. In recent years, evolutionary computation has been applied to PCR primer design and yielded promising results. In this paper, a particle swarm optimization (PSO) algorithm is proposed to solve primer design problems associated with providing a specific product for PCR experiments. A test set of the gene CYP1A1, associated with a heightened lung cancer risk was analyzed and the comparison of accuracy and running time with the genetic algorithm (GA) and memetic algorithm (MA) was performed. A comparison of results indicated that the proposed PSO method for primer design finds optimal or near-optimal primer sets and effective PCR products in a relatively short time.

Keywords: polymerase chain reaction (PCR), primer design, evolutionary computation, particle swarm optimization (PSO).

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