Friday, May 22, 2009

The Plant Cell's struggle with qPCR

Earlier this year, I posted an article from The Plant Cell listing a series of recommendations for qPCR analysis [Eleven golden rules of quantitative RT-PCR].

The Plant Cell (and I can only guess because they are tired of receiving crappy, unreproducible or badly analyzed qPCR results or, even worse, "semiquantitative" RT-PCRs -see below- ) has recently published yet another article along the same line which "provides guidelines for the experimental design and statistical analysis of qRT-PCR data from the statistician's perspective"1.

From The Plant Cell's Editor in Chief 2:
these are guidelines; any attempt to impose such analysis as standard while we are still struggling to persuade authors of the deficiencies of "semiquantitative" RT-PCR would be a difficult, if not impossible, task.

C'mon people.... nonquantitative semiquantitative RT-PCR? Really? And trying to get it into The Plant Cell (that by the way, has the highest impact factor of primary research journals in plant biology)?

She also commented (although on a previous Editorial)3:
Over the past 2 years, The Plant Cell has taken steps to remove "semiquantitative" RT-PCR from the pages of the journal
Good for The Plant Cell.

Please make the Editors's physical pain (which I assume they get when they see authors drawing quantitative conclusions in PCR analysis, from gels stained with EtBr) stop and follow their not-yet-imposed guidelines.

1 Rieu I, Powers SJ. (2009) Real-Time Quantitative RT-PCR: Design, Calculations, and Statistics. The Plant Cell 21:1031-1033 (2009)
2 Martin C (2009) Guidelines for Quantitative RT-PCR. The Plant Cell 21:1023
3 Martin C (2008) Refining Our Standards. The Plant Cell 20:1727

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