Nucleic acid staining dyes are used for detecting nucleic acids in electrophoresis gels. Historically, the most common dye used for gel staining is ethidium bromide, however due to its toxicity and mutagenicity other dyes that are safer to the user and the environment are preferred. This Short Communication details the properties of dyes now available and their sensitivity for detection of DNA and their ability to permeate the cell membrane. It was found that GelRed™ was the most sensitive and safest dye to use with UV light excitation, and both GelGreen™ and Diamond™ Nucleic Acid Dye were sensitive and the safer dyes using blue light excitation.
- Ethidium bromide
- SYBR® Green I