What is nucleic acid extraction?
Nucleic acid extraction is the process of removing genetic material (DNA and RNA) from a sample. The DNA and RNA within nuclei or cell walls must be released. The nucleic acids are then separated from the sample mixture using one of several methods.
Nucleic acid extraction methods
Nucleic acid extraction starts with disrupting the cellular structures containing the genetic material- nuclei, ribosomes, bacteria, viruses; this is usually accomplished by adding a compatible detergent, mechanical disruption, and/or heat.
From there, several methods for nucleic acid purification are common. Each nucleic acid isolation method is based on a different biochemical principle. Selection of a method is based on the throughput required, equipment available in the lab, or the degree of purity required.
Organic extraction and precipitation
Nucleic acid isolation by organic extraction involves addition of phenol and guanidine isothiocyanate to separate the DNA, RNA, and proteins into different organic phases. Organic extraction is a low-cost method and, with advanced reagents such as TRIzol, is a straightforward method requiring very little equipment.
Silica-based nucleic acid isolation
Nucleic acids bind to silica (aka glass fibers) under high-salt conditions and can be released under low-salt conditions. Silica-containing columns provide an easy way to bind, wash, and elute purified nucleic acids from multiple clarified cell lysates in parallel.
Invitrogen Purelink and GeneJET columns are designed to flow buffers through via centrifugation, vacuum, or gravity. Most protocols use spin column technology to take advantage of readily available lab equipment. Spin plates provide a high-throughput format based on the same isolation principle.
Paramagnetic bead-based nucleic acid purification
In this method paramagnetic (attracted to magnet) beads are added to the sample, and nucleic acids bind to the beads. Using a strong magnet, the beads are held in place while removing unwanted material. After washing, the genetic material is eluted from the beads in water or a low-salt buffer.
Magnetic bead isolation is now one of the most popular nucleic acid extraction methods due to its scalability and automation compatibility; MagMAX Bead Kits and KingFisher Sample Purification Systems are designed to work together to efficiently purify a variety of nucleic acids.
Robust kits and reagents for efficient nucleic acid isolation
Whether you need to extract and purify RNA, viral nucleic acid, DNA fragments, plasmid DNA, or genomic DNA, Thermo Fisher Scientific has a solution. Our nucleic acid purification products are optimized to provide maximum yield, purity, and integrity from virtually any sample type.
Sensitive, scalable genomic DNA purification products help maximize your efficiency.
RNA extraction kits address every application, sample, and RNA type.
Isolate, purify, and extract quality plasmid DNA.
KingFisher automated nucleic acid purification systems can be programmed for DNA, RNA, viral nucleic acid, and plasmid isolation.
Resources and support for nucleic acid isolation
For Research Use Only. Not for use in diagnostic procedures.