PD5: a general purpose library for primer design software

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Background: Complex PCR applications for large genome-scale projects require fast, reliable and often highly sophisticated primer design software applications. Presently, such applications use pipelining methods to utilise many third party applications and this involves file parsing, interfacing and data conversion, which is slow and prone to error. A fully integrated suite of software tools for primer design would considerably improve the development time, the processing speed, and the reliability of bespoke primer design software applications. Results: The PD5 software library is an open-source collection of classes and utilities, providing a complete collection of software building blocks for primer design and analysis. It is written in object-oriented C ++ with an emphasis on classes suitable for efficient and rapid development of bespoke primer design programs. The modular design of the software library simplifies the development of specific applications and also integration with existing third party software where necessary. We demonstrate several applications created using this software library that have already proved to be effective, but we view the project as a dynamic environment for building primer design software and it is open for future development by the bioinformatics community. Therefore, the PD5 software library is published under the terms of the GNU General Public License, which guarantee access to source-code and allow redistribution and modification. Conclusions: The PD5 software library is downloadable from Google Code and the accompanying Wiki includes instructions and examples: http://code.google.com/p/ primer-design.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere80156
JournalPLoS One
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 21 Nov 2013


  • DNA Primers
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Programming Languages
  • Software


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