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Recommended by Molecular Cloning as the best of the SYBR dyes from Molecular Probes.

General information

  • ten-fold more sensitive than ethidium bromide.
  • greater dynamic range.
  • penetrates gels quickly.
  • Stains both DNA and RNA in conventional neutral polyacrylamide and agarose gels and in denaturing gels using urea, glyoxal or formaldehyde.
  • stain gels post-electrophoresis because SYBR Gold likely binds the charge phosphate backbone of nucleic acids altering the electrophoretic mobility significantly. (DNA bands can come out curved).
  • low background so no destaining is necessary.
  • can be excited at by standard transillumination at 300nm.
  • stained nucleic acids can be transferred to membranes for Northerns or Southerns.
  • doesn't inhibit most enzymatic reactions except PCR. PCR is sensitive to high dye concentrations. Address this issues by adjusting Mg2+ concentration or remove stain via ethanol precipitation.
  • very expensive
  • supplied at 10,000X concentration in anhydrous DMSO.
  • operates most efficiently between pH 7-8.5
  • stock solution is stable 6 months to 1 year at <= 20°C


  1. Molecular Cloning
  2. Technical information from Invitrogen
  3. SYBR Gold Nucleic Acid Gel Stain product info from Invitrogen
  4. General SYBR stain tips and tricks from Invitrogen