In recent years, many single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) have been successfully genotyped by polymerase chain reaction with confronting two-pair primers (PCR-CTPP). However, computation experiments of feasible CTPP primers are still challenging. The melting temperatures between four primers must be within a very narrow range, and many primer constraints need to be conformed to. PCR-CTPP is a simple, time- and cost-effective SNP genotyping method applied in molecular biology and biomedical fields. In this study, an MA (memetic algorithm)-based method is proposed to enable the design of feasible CTPP primer sets.
Overall, 288 SNPs which exclude the deletion/insertion polymorphisms (DIPs) and multi-nucleotide polymorphisms (MNPs) in the SLC6A4 gene were tested in silico. The results were compared with a GA (genetic algorithm)-based method and indicate that the proposed method provides more feasible CTPP primers than the GA-based method. The MA-based CTPP primer design method provides critical melting temperatures and all kinds of evaluation of the common primer constraints. It could conceivably assist biologists and other researchers in obtaining feasible CTTP primer sets. The MA-CTPP algorithm is implemented in JAVA and a user-friendly input interface is freely available at