Whilst qPCR is a powerful technique, the results achieved using this method is valid only if the appropriate controls have been included in the experiment. Careful selection of controls and proper optimisation of qPCR conditions promise generation of highly specific, repeatable, reproducible and sensitive data. This chapter discusses the strategies for preparing both negative and positive controls for PCR, when they should be employed and how to interpret the information they provide.
It also highlights the significance of standard curves for determining the initial starting amount of the target template and for assessing assay efficiency, precision, sensitivity, and dynamic range. It also provides guidance on how to prepare standards, interpret standard curve and troubleshoot inefficient qPCR reactions.