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Ethidium bromide

BioReagent, for molecular biology, powder

Homidium bromide, 3,8-Diamino-5-ethyl-6-phenylphenanthridinium bromide, EtBr
Empirical Formula (Hill Notation):
CAS Number:
Molecular Weight:
EC Number:
MDL number:
PubChem Substance ID:

Quality Level


for molecular biology

product line





electrophoresis: suitable


260-262 °C (dec.) (lit.)


λex 360 nm; λem 590 nm in PBS
λex 526 nm; λem 605 nm (10 mM TBE; pH 8.0;)
λex 526 nm; λem 605 nm in aqueous buffer


suitable for gel electrophoresis

SMILES string




InChI key


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Ethidium bromide (EtBr) is the most commonly used nucleic acid stain for PAGE or agarose gel electrophoresis. The fluorescence of EtBr increases 21-fold upon binding to double-stranded RNA and 25-fold on binding double-stranded DNA so that destaining the background is not necessary with a low stain concentration (10 μg/ml). Ethidium bromide has been used in a number of fluorimetric assays for nucleic acids. It has been shown to bind to single-stranded DNA (although not as strongly) and triple-stranded DNA. Because of its ability to bind to DNA, EtBr is an inhibitor of DNA polymerase.

Frameshift mutagen which intercalates double-stranded DNA and RNA.


1, 5, 25 g in glass bottle

Biochem/physiol Actions

Ethidium bromide intercalates double-stranded DNA and RNA and acts as a frameshift mutagen. It can also be used in conjunction with acridine orange to differentiate between viable, apoptotic and necrotic cells.


For staining a gel after electrophoresis, dilute a sample of the stock solution to 0.5 μg/ml with water and incubate the gel for 15-30 min. Destaining is usually not needed but can be carried out in water for 15 min if decreased background is necessary. The DNA bands can then be detected on a UV light box (254 nm wavelength). Ethidium bromide can also be incorporated into the gel and running buffer at 0.5 μg/ml and visualized immediately after electrophoresis.


Skull and crossbonesHealth hazard

Signal Word


Hazard Statements

Hazard Classifications

Acute Tox. 1 Inhalation - Acute Tox. 4 Oral - Muta. 2

Storage Class Code

6.1A - Combustible, acute toxic Cat. 1 and 2 / very toxic hazardous materials



Flash Point(F)

Not applicable

Flash Point(C)

Not applicable

Personal Protective Equipment

dust mask type N95 (US), Eyeshields, Gloves

Certificate of Analysis

Certificate of Origin

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