Function of octanol/isoamylalcohol?

Chris LaRosa clarosa at
Tue Aug 1 08:26:16 EST 2000

Jens Tiedemann wrote:
> Dear Colleagues,
> I don't understand the exact function of octanol and/or isoamylalcohol as an
> additive to RNA/DNA-extraction reagents. Does anybody (with more experience
> and methodological know-how than me) have an idea whats the use of it?

You mean to the phenol??? Isoamyl alcohol changes the density or
partitioning behavior of the organic phase, so that it centrifuges to
the bottom of the tube and the aqueous phase remains on the top. 
Otherwise, classic phenol/chloroform partitioning would be a hassle as
the organic phase would be on top.

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