Making Plasmid Purification Pretty and Practical

The Story of the Colored Buffers

hand holding buffer

Ever notice that a lot of plasmid purification kits have buffers that look the same? One day, while working in lab, the daughter of Zymo Research’s founder realized that it’s not exactly easy to spot the differences between several bottles of similar looking, clear liquids that come in kits. It would be easy to misidentify buffer bottles, which could lead to mistakes in purification protocols.

These mistakes result in wasted time (and samples) which leads to some tense moments around the lab (and at home) and scrambling to redo extraction procedures. Frustrated, she knew that there must be a better way to differentiate the buffers.

After some creative brainstorming and hard work by the Zymo Research R&D team, the patented colored buffer system was born. This novel color system makes identification of buffers simple and memorable and has important scientific applications as well.

Multi-color Buffer System - Colored buffers prevent misidentification of lysis and neutralization reagents, enabling easy, error-free plasmid preparation.

The unique colored buffer technology allows for easy visualization of complete lysis and neutralization. This technology led to the adoption of colored buffers in Zymo Research’s plasmid purification kits to ensure superior recoveries and higher purities of the isolated plasmid DNA. The high-quality of the plasmid DNA enables its use in sensitive downstream applications such as transfections, gene therapy research, vaccine research, microinjections, in vitro transcription and PCR.

Easy visualization of lysis and neutralization - After resuspension in the P1 buffer (red), E.coli are lysed by addition of buffer P2 (green), which results in a dark purple and viscous lysate. The lysate is neutralized by addition of buffer P3 (yellow) and mixing, resulting in the formation of a yellow solution containing the plasmid and a yellowish precipitate.

Without this invention, researchers would likely still be misidentifying buffer bottles and recovering mediocre, poor-quality plasmid DNA, or no plasmid at all. But luckily, the ZymoPURE colored buffer system offers a vibrant improvement to traditional plasmid purification.

Learn more about the colored buffers used in ZymoPURE Plasmid purification systems:

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