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TBE gel, in TAE buffer. - (Oct/09/2008 )

Argh, in school, we seldom label the tanks and i have no idea which tank is TAE or TBE buffer. So yesterday, I labelled 2 of 3 tanks with "TBE buffer" and today, 1 of the label is gone and I got to run two gels!
Is there anyway to test whether the buffer inside the tank is TBE or TAE? like tasting it or whatever?
I would love to just make the new buffer but I don't know how to make it.


get better labels, ones that don't fall off easily.

well... the simplest thing to do is to remake your buffers. It is the easiest and safest thing to do.

50x TAE----------------1L-----------------------5L
Tris--------------------- 242g--------------------1210g
Glacial Acetic Acid-----57.1ml----------------- 285.5ml
EDTA pH8.0------------100ml-------------------500ml

Autoclave (not required, but I store the stock for months)

Use the TAE at 1x. So after making the stock solution, dilute it 50 times.

10 TBE

1 L
108g Tris base
55g Boric acid
40mls 0.5M EDTA (pH 8.0)

Alternatively you can try detective work. I believe Ca-borate is insoluble in water. It you should see a white precipitate upon addition of CaCl2. You could try the flame test. Borate turns the flame green (although I am not sure if the borate is concentrated enough to see the effect).


you should be able to smell the acetic acid in tae.