AIM Rapid phylogenetic and functional gene (gtfB) identification of S. mutans from the dental plaque derived from children. MATERIAL AND METHODS Dental plaque collected from fifteen patients of age group 7-12 underwent centrifugation followed by genomic DNA extraction for S. mutans. Genomic DNA was processed with S. mutans specific primers in suitable PCR condtions for phylogenetic and functional gene (gtfB) identification. The yield and results were confirmed by agarose gel electrophoresis. RESULTS 1% agarose gel electrophoresis depicts the positive PCR amplification at 1,485 bp when compared with standard 1 kbp indicating the presence of S. mutans in the test sample. Another PCR reaction was set using gtfB primers specific for S. mutans for functional gene identification. 1.2% agarose gel electrophoresis was done and a positive amplication was observed at 192 bp when compared to 100 bp standards. CONCLUSION With the advancement in molecular biology techniques, PCR based identification and quantification of the bacterial load can be done within hours using species-specific primers and DNA probes. Thus, this technique may reduce the laboratory time spend in conventional culture methods, reduces the possibility of colony identification errors and is more sensitive to culture techniques.