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Clinical Chemistry and Laboratory Medicine (CCLM)

Published in Association with the European Federation of Clinical Chemistry and Laboratory Medicine (EFLM)

Editor-in-Chief: Plebani, Mario

Editorial Board Member: Gillery, Philippe / Kazmierczak, Steven / Lackner, Karl J. / Lippi, Giuseppe / Melichar, Bohuslav / Schlattmann, Peter / Whitfield, John B.

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Comparative analysis of the DNA staining efficiencies of different fluorescent dyes in preparative agarose gel electrophoresis

Qing Huang1 / Wei-Ling Fu2



Corresponding author: Prof. Wei-Ling Fu, PhD, MD, Department of Laboratory Medicine, Southwestern Hospital, the Third Military Medical University, Chongqing 400038, China Phone: +86-23-6546-0802, Fax: +86-23-6546-0909,

Citation Information: Clinical Chemical Laboratory Medicine. Volume 43, Issue 8, Pages 841–842, ISSN (Online) 1437-4331, ISSN (Print) 1434-6621, DOI: 10.1515/CCLM.2005.141, August 2005

Publication History

April 4, 2005
June 17, 2005


Ethidium bromide (EB) is a mutagen and toxin that is widely used in the laboratory for visualization of nucleic acids. Safer nucleic acid stains, such as SYBR ® Gold, SYBR ® Green, GoldView™, GeneFinder ®, and GoldStar ®, have been developed. However, there has been no systematic comparative analysis of the staining efficiencies of these dyes. In the present study, SYBR ® Gold, SYBR ® Green I, GoldView™ and EB were compared. Although both SYBR ® Gold and SYBR ® Green alter electrophoretic mobility and thus DNA size estimates, they are cost-effective alternatives to EB. SYBR ® Gold was more sensitive than SYBR ® Green I at detecting short fragments, but 50-bp bands were clearly visible using either dye when visualized with a long integration time. SYBR ® Gold or SYBR ® Green I are sensitive and relatively safe alternatives to EB. In our laboratory, the SYBR ® Gold method is now used routinely by all members of our group with great consistency and success.

Keywords: agarose gel electrophoresis; ethidium bromide; fluorescent dyes; GoldView™; methods; SYBR ® Gold; SYBR ® Green

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