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Benzyl Chloride DNA Prep

Dr. G.W.Griffith bss097 at clss1.bangor.ac.uk
Thu Jul 28 10:59:34 EST 1994

I have tried a scaled down version of the Zhu, Qu and Zhu (NAR v21(22) 
p5279-80) genomic DNA prep method on both potato and tomato leaf tissue, 
and found it to be rapid and to produce clean DNA. The method involves 
incubation of leaf tissue in an extraction buffer (SDS, EDTA, pH9) with 
300ul benzyl chloride (in a 1.5ml microfuge tube) at 50 oC (with periodic
However, I am worried about the toxicity of benzyl chloride, since the 
safety data sheet makes it sound quite nasty.  
Can anybody tell me how dangerous it is compared to phenol or CTAB (i.e. the 
alternatives), in particular the vapour which may be produced on heating? 
Has anybody else found this method to be useful?

Best regards,
Gareth Wyn Griffith
University of Wales
Bangor Gwynedd LL57 2UW 
BSS097 at bangor.ac.uk

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