Nucleic Acid Staining Dyes for Detection of DNA in Agarose Gel

  • There are many nucleic acid staining dyes that can be used to visualize DNA embedded in the agarose gel. These staining dyes possess high quantum yields (i.e., dye-DNA complexes fluoresce several-fold more intensely than the dye alone) when bound to DNA.
  • With the help of highly sensitive dyes and a good imaging capture system, as little as 1 ng of DNA per band in agarose gel can be detected.
  • Traditionally, Ethidium bromide is used to visualize DNA in agarose gel. However, it is reported to be a hazardous and mutagenic agent. Now many alternatives are available commercially. The most commonly used alternative dye for the detection of DNA is GelRed in most laboratories.
  • The following dyes can be used to detect DNA in agarose gel.
    • Ethidium bromide
    • GelRed™ from Biotium
    • GelGreen®
    • SafeWhite
    • SafeView
    • Nancy-520
    • Midori Green Advance
    • RedSafe™
    • GreenSafe™
    • Diamond™ Nucleic Acid Dye
    • SYBR dye
      • SYBR Green I
      • SYBR Gold
      • SYBR™safe
    • EZ-Vision®

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