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TAE is a commonly used buffer for making and running DNA agarose gels. It offers a few advantages and disadvantages compared to TBE buffer:

  • TAE buffer provides optimal resolution of fragments >4 kb in length, while TBE provides better resolution for 0.1 to 3 kb fragments.
  • TAE is significantly cheaper to make
  • TAE stocks can be 50X concentrated and therefore take up less space than 10X concentrated TBE stock
  • TBE offers a higher resolution and has a higher buffering capacity at greater temperatures induced by relatively higher voltages
  • TBE can negatively influence the yield of DNA after recovery from a gel when using glass-based protocols. Yield does not seem to be influenced when using silica-based methods.
  • The bromide ion in TBE is a powerful inhibitor of enzyme activity. This can prevent degradation of nucleic acid, but can also interfere with subsequent experiments like cloning DNA into a vector.

Ingredients for one litre 50X stock

  • Tris-base: 242 g
  • Acetate (100% acetic acid): 57.1 ml
  • EDTA: 100 ml 0.5M sodium EDTA

Add dH2O up to one litre.

To make 1x TAE from 50X TAE stock, dilute 20ml of stock into 980 ml of deionised water.

See also

For disambiguation purposes, see EDTA and TE.