Improved silver staining of plant proteins, RNA and DNA in polyacrylamide gels



A new modification of silver staining is presented which utilizes two chemical properties of thiosulfate: image enhancement by pretreatment of fixed gels, and formation of soluble silver complexes which prevents unspecific background staining during image development. This procedure provides high sensitivity for proteins, RNA and DNA in the nanogram range on a colorless, transparent background. The performance of this method is documented by staining one-and two-dimensional patterns of plant leaf proteins. Moreover, we achieved, for the first time, the detection of the non-structural, tobacco mosaic virus-specific 126 kDa protein directly in the one-dimensional protein pattern of infected protoplasts by a staining procedure.