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Different Methods for DNA Purification

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DNA purification is a common and vital procedure in molecular biology. The aim of DNA purification is the separation of the desired genetic material, chromosomal materials from the contaminant (proteins, cell membranes and RNA). This is a vital step in almost all molecular processes and must be done correctly in order to obtain top-quality, usable DNA.

There are a number of various methods for DNA purification, the selection of which is dependent on a number of factors, including the starting materials and downstream applications as well as the cost and time constraints. The typical genomic and plasmid purification protocols require chemical treatment, enzymatic digestion or mechanical disintegration of cells and tissues, followed by salting of the proteins and removing the DNA with alcohol.

Ethanol precipitation can be a low-cost, quick and simple method of desalting and concentrating DNA. DNA molecules accumulate in the presence monovalent cations such as sodium, and are then precipitated from solution using high concentrations ethanol. This method is used to remove salts, organic compounds and other impurities. It is usually used with other purification methods.

Another method that is popular for DNA purification is anion exchange chromatography. DNA in a solution gets bound to positively charged resins through the interaction between the negatively charged DNA phosphate backbone as well as the positively charged surface molecules of the resin. During the binding steps, contaminants are removed by the use of a rigorous washing process. The DNA that is purified is eluted in low-salt conditions.

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