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Agoccurred gel electrophoresis is a molecular biology strategy toanalyze and also separate DNA pieces based on their dimension. When you usage gelelectrophoresis to assist you with molecular cloning, you may run into a widespread problem.

You are watching: Why are there multiple bands in gel electrophoresis

For an example, you are all set to excise your digested plasmid DNA from agdeveloped. However, you see more than one band on your digested sample and you wonder which one to cut. In this post, we review the different creates of plasmid DNA and also offer some beneficial tips to interpret your gel.

Blog post Contents:

The Structure of Agarose

How Does a Circular Plasmid DNA Run Throughout Gel Electrophoresis?

4 Common Forms of Plasmid DNA

How to Interpret Gel Electrophoresis Results

Related Products


The Structure of Agarose

Agarose, developed from seaweed, is a polysaccharide agar. Throughout polymerization, agarose polymers attach non-covalently and create a netoccupational of bundles. This netoccupational is composed of pores with molecular filtering properties.


Conceptual Rendering of Agarose Gel at a Microscopic Level.

DNA separation occurs because of the mesh-prefer nature of the agemerged gel. Smaller DNA fragments have the right to move conveniently with the pores, while bigger pieces acquire captured and also therefore take a trip progressively.

Let’s look at just how this all works. Under a powerful microscope, a gel will look porous, however to the naked eye, it looks favor a smooth, opaque gelatin in the form of a square through wells close to one end of the surchallenge. A well is a hollow pocket in the gel wbelow the DNA is loaded. Since of the negatively charged phosphate backbone, DNA holds a slight negative charge that permits the molecule to migrate to the positively charged anode. The travel distance of DNA molecules within an agarose gel is proportional to the log of its molecular weight.

How Does a Circular Plasmid DNA Run During Gel Electrophoresis?

The gel electrophoresis problems (consisting of the visibility of ethidium bromide, gel concentrations, electric field stamina, temperature, and ionic strength of the electrophoresis buffer) might impact the mobility of the plasmid DNA. Due to the net-choose nature of agemerged gel, circular plasmid DNA is caught up much easier in the agdeveloped mesh.


The electrophoretic trapping is a balance in between theelectrophoretic force (pulling the circular plasmid DNA against the trap) anddiffusion (permitting the circular plasmid DNA to escape a trap). So, largecircular molecules have actually a higher chance to get trapped than smaller DNA. Supercoiled DNA are even more tough to trap because of the small dimension of the twistedDNA.


4 Typical Forms of Plasmid DNA

CCC (Covalently Closed Circle) Monomer

CCC monomer is a negatively charged and also supercoiled plasmid. Intact supercoiled plasmids have compact double-stranded DNA twisted around itself. Plasmid DNA isolated from bacterial hosts are normally existing in this CCC develop. Undigested plasmid DNA are generally supercoiled.

OC (Open Circular) Monomer

An open circular create is led to by the nicking (cleavage) of one DNA strand. UV irradiation or nucleases can cause this single-strand also break. This framework is a tranquil and also less compact create of plasmid. It likewise has less supercoiling than the CCC create.


Liclose to Monomer

Linear create is a result of a cleavage on both DNA strands brought about by restriction endonucleases.

OC Dimer (Concatemer)

OC dimer is an oligomeric form of plasmids. Concatemer deserve to take place as a result of replication. Dimers are typically doubling in dimension as soon as compared to monomers.

How to Interpret Gel Electrophoresis Results

If possible, load undigested, linearized, and UV radiated plasmids next to each other into the agdeveloped gel, then you can compare the bands between those samples.In general, monomer supercoiled CCC creates relocate faster than any kind of other creates, because they have compact supercoiled DNA framework. Therefore, they will show up further dvery own in the gel.Open circular (OC) and also linear monomers move slower than the supercoiled CCC monomer. They have actually more battle passing via the pores in the gel matrix than the CCC create. Therefore, OC creates will certainly show up greater in the gel. The order of migration is usually the monomer CCC create (the fastest), complied with by the straight create and OC develop.Completely digested plasmid DNA usually show just a solitary band also, a linear create of the plasmid, in its lane through the supposed dimension. Undigested plasmid might have actually 2 develops show up in its lane: CCC dimer and also CCC monomer forms. The dimer develops, because of their bigger and doubling dimension compared to monomers, commonly move slower than the monomers. Because of this, it will show up better in a gel than a monomer. The CCC monomer develop runs faster than the direct develop of digested plasmid DNA.


Gel Electrophoresis Instances for Plasmid Forms. Lane 1: DNA Ladder. Lane 2: Undigested plasmid A. Lane 3: Completely digested plasmid A. Lane 4: UV-irradiated Plasmid DNA.

Now, as a practice, have the right to you guess each plasmid form from thesebands from the agoccurred gel below?


Gel Electrophoresis. Lane 1: DNA Ladder. Lane 2: Undigested plasmid A. Lane 3: Completely digested plasmid A.


For Lane 2, you may have the ability to view two bands. The faint band on height is OC and also the one below is the CCC form. For the Lane 3, it’s the entirely digested plasmid, so the band also has a linear develop.

How Do You Identify Your Bands from Your Agemerged Gels?

During gel electrophoresis, you may have to load uncut plasmid DNA, digested DNA fragment, PCR product, and most likely genomic DNA that you use as a PCR layout into the wells. Your digested DNA fragment is a digested PCR product. The following action is to identify those bands to number out which one to cut.


Gel Electrophoresis. Lane 1: DNA Ladder. Lane 2: Undigested plasmid A. Lane 3: Completely digested plasmid A. Lane 4: Digested PCR product (or DNA Fragment). Lane 5: PCR Product (with a faint primer dimer band). Lane 6: Genomic DNA. The white arrows show the bands that you desire to excise.

Tips to Identify the Correct Band also to Excise from Your Gel

Uncut plasmid DNA on the agoccurred gel is simple to determine bereason it may have two creates of plasmid (OC and CCC forms). Digested plasmid, digested DNA fragment, PCR product, and also genomic DNA might all have one single band also. To determine these bands, you will certainly have to check on their size by consulting the DNA ladder. Your digested plasmid has a linear create via the size in between OC and also CCC develops of the unreduced plasmid. Genomic DNA has a big dimension. So, the genomic DNA generally show at the extremely optimal of your gel (exceptionally cshed to your well).Digested DNA fragment might have a single band also at practically similar dimension via your PCR product. This is your tarobtain size, and the band also in this digested DNA fragment is the one you desire to excise.At the bottom of the PCR product lane, you might check out a faint band indicating tiny molecules. These small molecules are your primer molecules that attach to other primer molecules to form a primer dimer. The size of these little molecules is not your targain size, so you don’t want to excise this band also.

To learn even more around exactly how to interpret DNA gel electrophoresis, watch our video below:

Related Products

Agdeveloped Products

Agoccurred LE (Molecular Biology Grade) (Catalog No. A-201)

High Resolution Agemerged (For Nucleotides Catalog No. A-202)

Low Melt Agoccurred (Catalog No. A-204)

DNA Ladders

1 kb DNA Ladder (Catalog No. D010)

1 kb PLUS™ DNA Ladder (Catalog No. D011)

100 bp DNA Ladder (Catalog No. D001)

100 bp PLUS™ DNA Ladder (Catalog No. D003)

50 bp DNA Ladder (Catalog No. D100)

VersaLadder™, 100-10,000 bp (Catalog No. D012)

Gel Loading Dye Products

6X Blue Loading Dye (Catalog No. L002)

6X GelRed™ Prestain Loading Buffer through Blue Tracking Dyes (Catalog No. G-730)

6X GelRed™ Prestain Loading Buffer via Orange Tracking Dye (Catalog No. G-735)

6X Eco-friendly Loading Dye (Catalog No. L001)

Bromophenol Blue Free Acid, ACS Grade (Catalog No. B092)

Xylene Cyanol FF, Ultra Pure (Catalog No. X-300)


Cole, K. D., & Tellez, C. M. (2002). Separation of big circular DNA by electrophoresis in agdeveloped gels. Bioinnovation development, 18(1), 82-87.

Environment-friendly, M. R., & Sambrook, J. (2019a). Agarose gel electrophoresis. Cold Spring Harbor Protocols, 2019(1), pdb. prot100404.

Johnchild, P. H., & Grossguy, L. I. (1977). Electrophoresis of DNA in agemerged gels. Optimizing separations of conformational isomers of double-and single-stranded DNAs. Biochemisattempt, 16(19), 4217-4225.

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Schleef, M. (2008). Plasmids for treatment and vaccination: John Wiley & Sons.

Schmidt, T., Friehs, K., & Flaschel, E. (2001). Structures of plasmid DNA. Plasmids for treatment and vaccicountry, 29-43