Product Class: Kit

Luna® Universal One-Step RT-qPCR Kit

Product Introduction

Rapid, sensitive and precise dye-based qPCR detection and quantitation of target RNA targets

Make a simpler choice

  • One product per application simplifies selection
  • Convenient master mix formats and user-friendly protocols simplify reaction setup
  • Non-interfering, visible tracking dye helps to eliminate pipetting errors

Experience best-in-class performance

  • All Luna® products have undergone rigorous testing to optimize specificity, sensitivity, accuracy and reproducibility
  • Products perform consistently across a wide variety of sample sources
  • A comprehensive evaluation of commercially-available qPCR and RT-qPCR reagents demonstrates superior performance of Luna products

Optimize your RT-qPCR with Luna WarmStart® Reverse Transcriptase

  • Novel, thermostable reverse transcriptase (RT) improves performance
  • WarmStart RT paired with Hot Start Taq increases reaction specificity and robustness
Catalog # Size Concentration
E3005S 200.0 reactions
E3005L 500.0 reactions
E3005X 1000.0 reactions
E3005E 2500.0 reactions
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Product Information


Rapid, sensitive and precise dye-based qPCR detection and quantitation of RNA targets.

The NEB Luna Universal One-Step RT-qPCR Kit is optimized for dye-based real-time quantitation of target RNA sequences via the SYBR®/FAM fluorescence channel of most real-time instruments. Dye-based qPCR/RT-qPCR uses real-time fluorescence of a double-stranded DNA (dsDNA) binding dye, most commonly SYBR Green I, to measure DNA amplification after each PCR cycle. At a point where the fluorescence signal is confidently detected over the background fluorescence, a quantification cycle or Cq value can be determined. Cq values can be used to evaluate relative target abundance between two or more samples, or to calculate absolute target quantities in reference to an appropriate standard curve derived from a series of known dilutions.

One-Step RT-qPCR provides a convenient and powerful method for RNA detection and quantitation. In a single tube, RNA is first converted to cDNA by a reverse transcriptase, and then a DNA-dependent DNA polymerase amplifies the cDNA, enabling quantitation via qPCR.

In the Luna One-Step RT-qPCR Kit, Hot Start Taq DNA Polymerase is combined with a novel WarmStart-activated reverse transcriptase, allowing dual control of enzyme activity via reversible, aptamer-based inhibition. This temperature-dependent activation helps to prevent undesirable non-specific priming and extension prior to thermocycling, providing added security for setting up reactions at room temperature. The engineered WarmStart Luna Reverse Transcriptase also possesses higher thermostability than many other RTs, allowing an optimal reaction temperature of 55°C. For difficult targets/templates, higher RT step temperatures of up to 60°C can be used without compromising Luna performance.

Note that to ensure full activation of the WarmStart Luna RT, incubation at temperatures lower than 50°C is not recommended.
The Luna Universal One-Step Reaction Mix is supplied at 2X concentration and contains Hot-Start Taq DNA Polymerase, dNTPs, a fluorescent dsDNA-binding dye, and all required buffer components. It is formulated with a unique passive reference dye that is compatible across a variety of instrument platforms, including those that require a high or low ROX reference signal. The Reaction Mix also features dUTP for carryover prevention and a non-fluorescent visible dye for monitoring reaction setup. This visible dye does not overlap spectrally with the included dsDNA-binding dye and does not interfere with real-time detection.

The Luna WarmStart RT Enzyme Mix is supplied at 20X concentration and contains Luna WarmStart Reverse Transcriptase as well as Murine RNase Inhibitor to aid in preventing RNA degradation (see also template preparation in product manual ). It is compatible with various RNA sample types (total RNA, poly(A)-RNA, etc.) and sources.

Figure 1: NEB’s Luna Universal One-Step RT-qPCR Kit offers exceptional sensitivity, reproducibility and RT-qPCR performance
RT-qPCR targeting human GAPDH was performed using the Luna Universal One-Step RT-qPCR Kit over an 8-log range of input template concentrations (1 μg – 0.1 pg Jurkat total RNA) with 8 replicates at each concentration. Reaction setup and cycling conditions followed recommended protocols, including a 10-minute RT step at 55°C for the thermostable Luna WarmStart Reverse Transcriptase.

Figure 2: NEB's Luna Universal One-Step RT-qPCR Kit provides sensitive and accurate detection and quantitation across a wide variety of RNA sources
The Luna Universal One-Step RT-qPCR Kit yields high-quality results across a broad range of RNA source organisms (mammals, plants, yeast and bacteria) and purification methods (commercial, column-purified or RNAlater-preserved total RNA; purified mRNA). RT-qPCR targets were quantitated with 50 ng – 5 pg total RNA as input using either ABI 7500 Fast or ABI QuantStudio® 6 real time instruments.

Figure 3: Extensive performance evaluation of commercially available dye-based RT-qPCR reagents demonstrates the robustness and specificity of Luna
Commercially-available RT-qPCR reagents were tested across 24 RT-qPCR targets varying in abundance, length and %GC. Data was collected by 2 users and according to manufacturer’s recommendations. Results were evaluated for efficiency, low input detection and lack of non-template amplification (where ΔCq = average Cq of non-template control – average Cq of lowest input). In addition, consistency, reproducibility and overall curve quality were assessed (Quality Score). Bar graph indicates % of targets that met acceptable performance criteria (indicated by green box on dot plot and Quality Score > 3). Results for NEB and other suppliers are shown: QIAGEN, QuantiFast® SYBR® Green RT-PCR Kit; ABI, Power SYBR Green RNA-to-Ct 1-Step Kit; Bio-Rad, iTaq® Universal SYBR Green One-Step Kit; Promega®, GoTaq® 1-Step RT-qPCR System; Quanta, qScript One-Step SYBR Green RT-qPCR Kit. NEB’s Luna Universal One-Step RT-qPCR Kit outperformed all other reagents tested.

Learn more about our comprehensive qPCR/RT-qPCR testing and “dots in boxes” data visualization.
This product is related to the following categories:
Luna® qPCR & RT-qPCR Products,
PCR, qPCR & Amplification Technologies Products,
This product can be used in the following applications:
RT-qPCR, RT-PCR and cDNA Synthesis,
DNA Amplification, PCR & qPCR

Kit Components

Kit Components

The following reagents are supplied with this product:

NEB # Component Name Component # Stored at (°C) Amount Concentration
  • E3005S     -20    
  • E3005L     -20    
  • E3005X     -20    
  • E3005E     -20    

Properties & Usage

Product Notes

  1. Primer Design
    The use of qPCR primer design software (e.g., Primer3) maximizes the likelihood of amplification success while minimizing nonspecific amplification and primer dimers. Targets with balanced GC/AT content (40–60%) tend to amplify most efficiently. Where possible, enter sufficient sequence around the area of interest to permit robust primer design and use search criteria that permit cross-reference against relevant sequence databases (to avoid potential off-target amplification). It is advisable to design primers across known RNA splicing sites in order to prevent amplification from genomic DNA.
  2. Primer Concentration
    For most targets, a final concentration of 400 nM (each primer) will provide optimum performance. If needed, primer concentrations can be optimized between 100–900 nM.
  3. Amplicon Length
    To ensure successful and consistent qPCR results, it is important to maximize PCR efficiency. An important aspect of this is the design of short PCR amplicons (typically 70–200 bp). Some optimization may be required for targets that exceed that range.
  4. Template Preparation and Concentration
    Luna RT-qPCR is compatible with RNA samples prepared through typical nucleic acid purification methods. Prepared RNA should be stored in an EDTA-containing buffer (e.g., 1X TE) for long-term stability, and dilutions should be freshly prepared for a qPCR experiment in either TE or water. Note that the quality of RNA templates can greatly affect RT-qPCR efficiency. RNA should be handled with appropriate precautions to prevent RNase or DNase contamination. Use of nuclease-free water (provided) is strongly recommended. Where useful, RNA may be treated with DNase I to remove contaminating genomic DNA.
    Generally, a useful concentration of standard and unknown material will be in the range of 108 copies to 10 copies. Note that for dilutions in the single-copy range, some samples will contain multiple copies and some will have none, as defined by the Poisson distribution. For total RNA, Luna One-Step Kits can provide linear quantitation over an 8-order input range of 1 μg – 0.1 pg. For most targets, a standard input range of 100 ng – 10 pg total RNA is recommended. For purified mRNA, input of ≤ 100 ng is recommended. For in vitro-transcribed RNA, input of ≤ 109 copies is recommended.
  5. ROX Reference Dye

    Some real-time instruments recommend the use of a passive reference dye (typically ROX) to overcome well-to-well variations that could be caused by machine limitations such as “edge effect”, bubbles, small differences in volume, and autofluorescence from dust or particulates in the reaction. However, ROX normalization does little to the variations caused by pipetting errors of templates/primers, heterogeneous mixing, and evaporation/condensation issues.

    A universal passive reference dye is included in the following Luna® qPCR products: Luna Universal qPCR Master Mix (NEB #M3003), Luna Universal Probe qPCR Master Mix (NEB #M3004), Luna Universal One-Step RT-qPCR Kit (NEB #E3005), and Luna Universal Probe One-Step RT-qPCR Kit (NEB #E3006). These products support broad instrument compatibility (High-ROX, Low-ROX, ROX-independent) so no additional ROX is required for normalization.

    The Luna Probe One-Step RT-qPCR Kit (No ROX) (E3007) contains no reference dye and is compatible with any instrument that does not require ROX. If ROX normalization is needed, ROX can be added. Please refer to instrument manufacturer’s instructions for greater details.

  6. Carryover Contamination Prevention
    RT-qPCR is an extremely sensitive method, and contamination in new RT-qPCR assays with products from previous amplification reactions can cause a variety of issues, such as false positive results and a decrease in sensitivity. The best way to prevent this “carryover” contamination is to practice good laboratory procedures and avoid opening the reaction vessel post amplification. However, to accommodate situations where additional anti-contamination measures are desired, Luna qPCR mixes contains a mixture of dUTP/dTTP that results in the incorporation of dU into the DNA product during amplification. Pretreatment of qPCR/RT-qPCR experiments with uracil DNA glycosylase (UDG) will eliminate previously-amplified uracil-containing products by excising the uracil base to produce a non-amplifiable DNA product. The use of a thermolabile UDG is important, as complete inactivation of the UDG is required to prevent destruction of newly synthesized qPCR products.

    To enable carryover prevention, 0.025 units/μl Antarctic Thermolabile UDG (NEB #M0372) should be added to the reaction mix. To maximize elimination of contaminating products, set up the qPCR experiments at room temperature or include a 10 minute incubation step at 25°C before the initial denaturation step.
  7. Reaction Setup and Cycling Conditions
    Due to dual hot-start feature of Luna One-Step Kits, it is not necessary to set up reactions on ice or preheat the thermocycler prior to use.
    For 96-well plates, a final reaction volume of 20 μl is recommended.
    For 384-well plates, a final reaction volume of 10 μl is recommended.
    When programming instrument cycling conditions, ensure a plate read is included at the end of the extension step, and a denaturation (melt) curve after cycling is complete to analyze product specificity.
    Amplification for 40 cycles is sufficient for most applications, but for very low input samples 45 cycles may be used.

Protocols, Manuals & Usage


  1. Luna® Universal One-Step RT-qPCR Kit Protocol (E3005)


The Product Manual includes details for how to use the product, as well as details of its formulation and quality controls.

Usage & Guidelines

Tools & Resources

Web Tools

FAQs & Troubleshooting


  1. How do I use qPCR to determine the concentration of my material?
  2. Can I set up my Luna® RT-qPCR at room temperature?
  3. What is the difference between probe- and dye-based versions of the Luna® qPCR Mixes?
  4. Should I use probe- or dye-based detection for my qPCR assays?
  5. How should I design primers for Luna® qPCR?
  6. How long should my amplicon be for qPCR?
  7. Why is the Luna® qPCR Mix blue? Will this dye interfere with detection?
  8. Can I run the Luna® qPCR Mix on my qPCR instrument?
  9. Can I use fast cycling conditions with the Luna® qPCR Mix?
  10. Do I need to add ROX?
  11. How many dilutions should I use to make a standard curve?
  12. Why does NEB recommend 40-45 cycles?
  13. Does the Luna® qPCR Mix contain dUTP? Can I use carryover contamination prevention methods?
  14. Why do I have multiple peaks in my melt curve?
  15. How can I distinguish non-template amplification (NTC) from real products?
  16. Why do I see amplification curves in my NTC samples?
  17. How much primer should I use with the Luna® Universal RT-qPCR Kit?
  18. How do I choose between one-step RT-qPCR and two-step RT-qPCR?
  19. What RNA samples can be used in RT-qPCR with the Luna® Mix?
  20. How much RNA template should I use in my RT-qPCR reaction?
  21. Can I use longer targets in one-step RT-qPCR?
  22. What temperature should I use for cDNA synthesis with Luna® RT-qPCR kits?
  23. Should I include a no Luna® WarmStart® Enyzme Mix control (-RT Control)?
  24. What is the fluorescent, double-stranded DNA binding dye in the Luna® qPCR master mix?
  25. Is the Monarch® Total RNA Miniprep Kit compatible with Luna® RT-qPCR Reagents?
  26. Are the Monarch RNA Cleanup Kits compatible with Luna RT-qPCR reagents?
  27. Can I use shorter cycling times?


Quality, Safety & Legal

Quality Assurance Statement

Quality Control tests are performed on each new lot of NEB product to meet the specifications designated for it. Specifications and individual lot data from the tests that are performed for this particular product can be found and downloaded on the Product Specification Sheet, Certificate of Analysis, data card or product manual. Further information regarding NEB product quality can be found here.


The Specification sheet is a document that includes the storage temperature, shelf life and the specifications designated for the product. The following file naming structure is used to name these document files: [Product Number]_[Size]_[Version]

Certificate Of Analysis

The Certificate of Analysis (COA) is a signed document that includes the storage temperature, expiration date and quality controls for an individual lot. The following file naming structure is used to name these document files: [Product Number]_[Size]_[Version]_[Lot Number]

Safety DataSheets

The following is a list of Safety Data Sheet (SDS) that apply to this product to help you use it safely.

Legal and Disclaimers

Products and content are covered by one or more patents, trademarks and/or copyrights owned or controlled by New England Biolabs, Inc (NEB). The use of trademark symbols does not necessarily indicate that the name is trademarked in the country where it is being read; it indicates where the content was originally developed. The use of this product may require the buyer to obtain additional third-party intellectual property rights for certain applications. For more information, please email [email protected].

This product is intended for research purposes only. This product is not intended to be used for therapeutic or diagnostic purposes in humans or animals.

New England Biolabs (NEB) is committed to practicing ethical science – we believe it is our job as researchers to ask the important questions that when answered will help preserve our quality of life and the world that we live in. However, this research should always be done in safe and ethical manner. Learn more.


Nucleic acid-based aptamers for use with thermophilic DNA polymerases and reverse transcriptases are licensed exclusively by New England Biolabs, Inc. from SomaLogic, Inc. New England Biolabs, Inc. gives the Buyer/User a non-exclusive license to use the Luna Universal One-Step RT-qPCR Kit for Research Use Only (RUO). Commercial use of this product may require a license from New England Biolabs, Inc. For additional information or to inquire about commercial use, please contact [email protected]


BIO-RAD® and ITAQ® are registered trademarks of Bio-Rad Laboratories.
FASTSTART is a trademark of Roche.
GOTAQ® is a registered trademark of Promega Corporation.
QIAGEN® and QUANTIFAST® are registered trademarks of Qiagen, Inc.
QSCRIPT is a trademark of Quanta.
QUANTSTUDIO® is a registered trademark of Life Technologies Corporation.
STEPONEPLUS® is a registered trademark of Applied Biosystems, LLC.
SYBR® is a registered trademark of Molecular Probes, Inc.
TAQMAN® is a registered trademark of Thermo Fisher Scientific.