Tunable fractionation of nucleic acids

Biotechniques. 2009 Dec;47(6):1041-3. doi: 10.2144/000113249.


We developed a method for selective purification of DNA using the cationic detergent, cetyltrimethylammonium bromide (CTAB), accompanied with urea and controlled high-salt (NaCl) concentration. This method is effective for rapid separation of DNA fragments from artifacts such as PCR primer dimers or ligation adapters. The CTAB-associated purification completely removed the short PCR artifacts and primers, as well as enzymes and buffer, while recovering a sufficient quantity of amplicons for subsequent experiments such as preparation of libraries. This method could also be applied to the fractionation of nucleic acids generated by other types of reactions.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Cetrimonium
  • Cetrimonium Compounds / chemistry
  • Chemical Fractionation / methods*
  • DNA / isolation & purification
  • Nucleic Acids / isolation & purification*
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Sodium Chloride / chemistry


  • Cetrimonium Compounds
  • Nucleic Acids
  • Sodium Chloride
  • DNA
  • Cetrimonium