Longevity of SYBR® Safe Signal in Agarose Gel Electrophoresis
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SYBR® Safe is used as an alternative to ethidium bromide for the detection of DNA. The endurance of SYBR® Safe is of special interest to teaching labs, because it dictates the ability to use or re-use a gel at a later date.
0.7% agarose gels were poured with SYBR® Safe, electrophoresed, and examined under ultraviolet light to detect fluorescent DNA bands. When poured under ambient light, after sitting three days and being electrophoresed on the third day, all of the bands could be visually detected.
When poured in the dark, after sitting five days and being electrophoresed on the fifth day, all DNA bands could be detected.
On a SYBR® Safe gel that was electrophoresed, in ambient light or in the dark, the entire amount of DNA loaded onto the gel was detected under UV light. After 24 hours (+/- 1 hour) of storage at 4º Celsius, some DNA bands were undetectable, as degradation increased daily. It is necessary to capture a photograph of data immediately to ensure that all DNA bands are visible.
Gels poured and electrophoresed at least one month prior were electrophoresed again after loading DNA into a previously un-used lane. After back-staining the gels with SYBR® Safe, the expected DNA bands in the new lane were detected under UV light.
Gels poured at 4º C had tighter bands, but had lower intensity under UV light than gels poured at room temperature (24º C).
Sopetti, Michelle B., "Longevity of SYBR® Safe Signal in Agarose Gel Electrophoresis" (2014). Fall Interdisciplinary Research Symposium. 74.
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