Properties of nucleic acid staining dyes used in gel electrophoresis

Alicia Haines, Shanan Tobe, Hilton Kobus, Adrian Linacre

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    65 Citations (Scopus)


    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.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)941-944
    Number of pages4
    Issue number6
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2015


    • Ethidium bromide
    • GelGreen™
    • GelRed™
    • RedSafe™
    • SYBR® Green I


    Dive into the research topics of 'Properties of nucleic acid staining dyes used in gel electrophoresis'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this