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EtBr and DNA staining - Best method of EtBr use (Aug/26/2005 )

I was just wondering what is the best method to stain with EtBr for a DNA agarose gel:
1) Add EtBr directly to the gel and then pour into gel bed. That way you have a gel (solid) and buffer (liquid) waste.
2) Have a staining solution that you use to stain with after running the gel. You still have a gel (solid) and staining solution (liquid) waste.




Either way will work fine (there really is no "best" method), but you should probably base your choice on how uptight your lab safety rules are. It's faster to just add EtBr directly to your gel, but by doing so you contaminate your gel apparatus and any buffer that you choose to reuse. Having separate stain/destain dishes takes a bit longer (10-15 minutes for staining and destaining), but it's easy to control how much you actually want your gel stained.

Hope that helps,


I have always preferred post staining purely to stop the lab from being covered in EtBr. If you want to have fun take a handled UV lamp around at night through a lab that adds EtBr to their gels!


Sequencing DNA software

-Daniel Tillett-

I prefer to stain my gel in EtBr solution rather adding it into the gel
and I think it's better as u dun comtaminate ur electrophoresis tank as well as your workplace


I would prefer using EtBr solution for gel stanning because you can then have a clean gel tank less contamination of it. The only disadvantage is, you cannot continue running your gel after you stain your gel and destain it. That's what I think.

By the way, is there any good method to decontaminate EtBr completely and easily? Thanks.


You can add activated charcoal to waste solutions to remove EtBr


DNA sequencing

-Daniel Tillett-