Plasmid Isolation: Genomic DNA vs Plasmid DNA

The major task in plasmid isolation methods is to separate Plasmid DNA from genomic DNA. Here we have compared some of the important differences that can be valuable to understand plasmid isolation. These differences are utilized by some of the commonly used plasmid isolation methods such as Alkaline lysis and boiling lysis methods.

PropertiesGenomic DNAPlasmid DNARemarks
Nucleic acid typeDouble-standard DNADouble-standard DNA 
Building blocksDeoxyribonucleotidesDeoxyribonucleotides 
SizeRelatively very largeSmallSome plasmids are high molecular weight and require special methods for isolation
GeometryCircular/Linear and tangledCovalently-closed circular and supercoiledLinear plasmids also exist 
SolubilityLess solubleHighly solubleDue to their small size, plasmids dissolve rapidly 
Reanealing after denaturationOften form precipitate due to random association between both strandsAnnealed in the right orientation due to its small size and supercoiled closed circular structure, remains solubleA basis for the alkaline lysis method

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