Protocol Online logo
Top : Forum Archives: : Molecular Biology

Alternative stains for DNA - Alternative stains for DNA (Feb/08/2005 )

Dear members,

I am searching for a protocol for alternative stains (like nile blue & methylene blue) for visualizing DNA during electrophoresis.
I would be thankful if someone using this technique could share his/her protocol with me.
Secondly, I would also like to know the relative sensitivity of these stains as compared to EtBr.



we sometimes use a flourescent DNA-binding dye called Gelstar (commercial brand, from Cambrex). Its more sensitive than EtBr and major advantage is its excited by blue light instead of UV so you can cut out bands without damaging the DNA or yourself. Drawback is you need access to a blue-light transillumantor....we use Cambrex's Dark Reader, works o.k.


How about Sybrsafe from Invitrogen, Its "safer" and seems as sensitive. It also has the advantage of being compatible with normal UV tranilumiators and is that expensive. If you work out the cost compared to EtBr its really expensive but if you look at the other costs in a gel -agarose, markers, samples, time- its insignificant. The LIST PRICE (who pays those?) in the UK is 34 / 40 x 100ml gels

I'm busy trying to convert my insitute over to Sybrsafe.