Scorpions Primers integrate primer and probe into a single bifunctional molecule. Unlike dual-labeled probes and Molecular Beacons, Scorpions Primers combine primer and probe in one molecule, with the primer at the 3' end and the probe contained within a hairpin-loop structure at the 5' end.

Scorpions Primers utilize a uni-molecular mechanism that acts faster in solution for instantaneous fluorescence in real-time PCR.  Like Molecular Beacons, these primers do not require enzymatic cleavage of the probe during PCR cycling, enabling the option for a post-PCR melt curve analysis. These qualities make Scorpions Primers valuable tools for rapid, real-time PCR, endpoint PCR, SNP detection, and gene quantification.

Scorpions™ bifunctional primer and probe
Image Credit: LGC Biosearch Technologies

Key advantages of Scorpions Primers

Scorpions Primers provide a number of important advantages over other PCR Probe formats:

  • Enhanced specificity: The stem-loop conformation confers high specificity, making Scorpions primers ideal for SNP/mismatch discrimation
  • High signal-to-noise: Scorpions primers offer superior fluorophore quenching due to the proximity and the direct energy transfer between reporter and quencher while in the closed hairpin conformation
  • Melt curve analysis suitability: Because Scorpions primers generate fluorescence under non-hydrolytic conditions by target hybridisation, post-PCR melt curve analysis can be performed
  • Rapid hybridisation: The proximity of the probe region and the target sequence kinetically favours formation of the probe-template hybrid over template duplex re-annealing. The unimolecular event enables rapid signal generation during hybridisation.
Technical specs for Scorpions Primers Order here

Related info

Storage and handling of primers, custom oligos and BHQ Probes

Spectral calibration instructions

Probe selection guide

Oligo toolbox