Inexplicable DNA degradation in electrophoresis tanks!

dreamer at dreamer at
Tue Jan 28 19:38:17 EST 1997

A few years ago someone noticed degradation of Streptomyces DNA during
electrophoresis in TAE buffer, and concluded that it was related to
ferrous ion contamination. It only happened in TAE buffer, so I was
wondering if you had the same problem using TBE. These authors
actually published some of their findings:

X. Zhou, Z. Deng, J. L. Firmin, D. A. Hopwood & T. Kieser.
Site-specific degradation of Streptomyces lividans DNA during
electrophoresis in buffers contaminated with ferrous iron.
Nucleic Acids Res 16: 4341-52 (1988)

Maybe it is something unrelated to your problem but it might be worth
trying to find possible sources of ferrous ion contamination in your

Hope this helps

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