AAT Bioquest

Other than Ethidium Bromide (EBr), what are some alternative options for staining nucleic acids in agarose gels?

Posted July 8, 2018


Helixyte™ Green (Cat #17590) and Helixyte™ Gold (Cat # 17595) are excellent nucleic acid gel stains that are more sensitive and significantly less mutagenic than EBr for detecting DNA in agarose gels. They have spectral properties equivalent to SYBR® Green and SYBR® Gold.

Helixyte™ dyes can be used for qPCR, melt curve analysis, real-time monitoring of thermophilic helicase=-dependent amplification (tHDA), routine solution DNA quantification, and a variety of gel electrophoresis. Gels soaked with diluted Helixyte™ reagents can be visualized without desalting. 

When staining oligonucleotides in gels, we recommend using Gelite™ Green (Cat# 17589) Nucelic Acid Gel Staining Kit over EBr. Gelite™ Green is two orders of magnitude more sensitive the EBr and can detect as little as 60 pg dsDNA per band.

Additional resources

Helixyte™ Green Nucleic Acid Gel Stain

Helixyte™ Gold Nucleic Acid Gel Stain

Gelite™ Green Nucleic Acid Gel Staining Kit product page