Scientists use the DNA ladder to perform gel electrophoresis. The DNA ladders contain DNA fragments of known sizes that enable scientists to determine their experimental sample’s sizes by comparing them with the nearest one in the ladder. If you use the correct ladder, you can estimate your sample’s DNA band size quickly and accurately. But choosing the right one is quite a task as there are a lot of different DNA ladders available in the market. If you want to know how to choose the best one to carry out your experiment effortlessly, go ahead, read further, and find out.
How do we use the DNA ladder?
In molecular biology, gel electrophoresis is frequently used to separate large molecules such as DNA, RNA, and proteins. The process is done by running the sample on an agarose gel driven by an electrical current. Ladders are used in this process as molecular weight size markers when a small sample is loaded into an indentation built on the top of agarose gel.
Significance of DNA ladder
A DNA ladder contains a series of well-defined DNA fragments of specific lengths. Scientists match the size of their samples by comparing them to the closest one. Other than measuring base pair length, DNA ladders also serve one more purpose. If you didn’t pour the gels correctly, there could be differences in the gel thickness across the width. In that case, the electrophoresis can not be conducted at the same rate. If you run a DNA ladder on both ends of the gel, you can ensure that an accurate comparison can be made across the entire width of the gel.
How to choose the correct DNA ladder?
When it comes to choosing the right DNA ladder for your experiment, there are two main factors to consider. Let’s discuss both of them in detail.
The most crucial factor when choosing the DNA ladder for your experiment is the expected size range. You have to select the DNA ladder according to the size of the sample you are expecting. Your sample size should fall between the maximum and minimum fragment of the ladder. For instance, if you are expecting a large DNA fragment of more than 1 kb DNA fragment, you need to make sure that you select 1 kb plus DNA ladder. On the other hand, if your sample contains small DNA fragments, select the ladder with bands at least that small.
Number of bands
The following primary consideration that you have to make before selecting the ladder is the number of bands given over a specific size range. If you choose a DNA ladder with more bands, it can be easier to estimate the size of DNA segments in your sample more accurately. However, it will take a little more time with a ladder with more bands. If your experiment needs to know the precise size, go with a ladder with more bands. It will take time, but your results will be more accurate. On the other hand, if you can go ahead with a rough estimate of the band size, you can choose the ladder with less number of bands.
Choosing the correct DNA ladder can not only save you a lot of time and efficiency in your experiments but also make your results much more accurate. Always make sure to consider the size range and the number of bands before selecting the DNA ladder for your experiment. If you want to buy high-quality DNA and RNA ladders, you can make your purchase through MBP Inc. With our high-end products, we strive to provide excellence and accuracy in your lab results.