UNIT 5.2 Purification and Concentration of Nucleic Acids

  1. Dennis H. Dowhan

Published Online: 1 SEP 2012

DOI: 10.1002/9780470089941.et0502s06

Current Protocols Essential Laboratory Techniques

Current Protocols Essential Laboratory Techniques

How to Cite

Dowhan, D. H. 2012. Purification and Concentration of Nucleic Acids. Current Protocols Essential Laboratory Techniques. 6:5.2:5.2.1–5.2.21.

Author Information

  1. University of Queensland, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 1 SEP 2012


The purification and concentration of nucleic acids have become routine procedures in most biology and molecular biology laboratories. This unit covers the basic principles and procedures for the isolation, purification, and manipulation of solutions of DNA or RNA. The basic DNA protocol, using phenol extraction and ethanol precipitation, is appropriate for the purification of DNA from small volumes (<0.4 ml) at concentrations ≤1 mg/ml. Purification of DNA using commercially available silica membrane spin columns is presented as an alternate protocol. Isolation and purification of RNA from mammalian cells or tissues is also examined. Use of the protein denaturant guanidine thiocyanate and water-saturated phenol, followed by concentration by isopropanol precipitation, for producing small samples of RNA, is illustrated in the basic RNA protocol. Curr. Protoc. Essential Lab. Tech. 6:5.2.1-5.2.21. © 2012 by John Wiley & Sons, Inc.


  • DNA;
  • RNA;
  • phenol;
  • chloroform;
  • guanidine thiocyanate;
  • concentration;
  • precipitation;
  • extraction;
  • ethanol;
  • isopropanol