Clean-up kits take dirty nucleic acids and remove contaminants that could interfere with your downstream business. Enzyme-dependent applications like restriction digests, ligations, PCR amplification and sequencing all require squeaky clean DNA & RNA in order to get the best (or sometimes any!) results.
Choosing the right clean-up kit for your needs depends on which substances you want to remove. Not sure? It depends on the source. Typically these reaction-killing interlopers are left over from either a previous enzymatic reaction or from the organism/environment that the DNA/RNA was extracted from. Our clean-up kits can be divided into two types based on which of these is the source of contamination.
Our fastest and simplest kits are those that are designed to remove proteins, primers, dNTPs and salts, typically left over after some kind of enzymatic reaction; for example PCR amplification or a restriction digest. We have three different clean-up kits that will remove these simple proteins and salts; UltraClean PCR, UltraClean GelSpin and UltraClean 15. If your DNA is suspended in solution you can use any of these. However, they do have some slight differences. Both UltraClean PCR and UltraClean GelSpin are silica spin column based kits. Consequently, they both have a DNA binding capacity of 20 micrograms per prep and they both will work with DNA up to 50 kb. The main difference is their lower size cut-off. UltraClean PCR will clean-up DNA of 60 bp and greater. UltraClean GelSpin has a lower cut-off of 100 bp.
The UltraClean 15 kit uses a silica suspension, instead of a spin column, to bind the DNA. Like the UltraClean PCR kit it also has a lower and upper DNA size limit of 60 bp – 50 kb. However, because the volume of silica can be increased or decreased as needed, it can be scaled for any quantity of DNA. The other advantage of UltraClean 15 is the option to elute the DNA in a small volume. So it is ideal if you want to concentrate your DNA as well as clean it up. The silica spin-column based kits have a minimum elution volume of 50 microliters.
In addition to DNA in solution, the UltraClean GelSpin and UltraClean 15 kits also have protocols for cleaning up a DNA from an agarose gel. Since UltraClean 15 uses a silica suspension, it can accommodate any size slice of agarose gel. (Assuming you have a large enough collection tube!) On the other hand, the UltraClean GelSpin kit should only be used with up to 0.2 grams of agarose, otherwise it might clog the spin column.
But what if your dirty DNA/RNA sample contains contaminants other than just proteins, primers and salts? Then you will need to take out the “big guns!” Our two newest kits, PowerClean Pro DNA and PowerClean Pro RNA, as well as the original PowerClean DNA clean-up kit work great for this. The new PowerClean Pro kits are stream-lined and require fewer steps than the original PowerClean DNA clean-up kit making it less likely you’ll lose sample. Only these three post-extraction kits contain our patented Inhibitor Removal Technology (IRT) process for removing difficult substances that come from sources like plants, soil, feces or blood. Some common examples of contaminants, along with their typical sources are listed below:
- Humic acids (from soil, compost)
- Polysaccharides (plants, undigested contents in the rumen, ceacum, feces, drugs)
- Polyphenols (plants)
- Melanin (hair, skin, eye tissue)
- Bile salts (feces)
- Heme, EDTA, charcoal (blood)
If you are trying to remove something not listed here and you are unsure if a PowerClean kit will work, please contact technical support. We might know the answer.
Find all this a bit confusing? The upshot is that any of our kits will remove proteins, primers and salts. However, only those containing IRT will remove environmental contaminants. We’ve put together a handy chart to make it a little easier to select the right kit for your needs. If you’d like to try one of our new PowerClean Pro kits but aren’t sure if it’s right for you, order a free two-sample kit: PowerClean Pro DNA Clean-up kit sample or PowerClean Pro RNA Clean-up Kit sample
|Clean-up Kit||Binding matrix||Size range||Gel||Solution||Capacity||Inhibitors|
|PowerClean Pro DNA||Silica Column||100 bp – 50 kb||X||20 ug||Environmental|
|UltraClean PCR DNA||Silica Column||60 bp – 50 kb||X||20 ug||Salts, proteins|
|UltraClean GelSpin DNA||Silica Column||100 bp – 50 kb||X||X||20 ug||Salts, proteins|
|UltraClean 15 DNA||Silica suspens.||60 bp – 50 kb||X||X||scalable||Salts, proteins|
|PowerClean Pro RNA||Silica Column||100 bp – 50 kb||X||40 ug||Environmental|