REDExtract-N-Amp™ Plant PCR Kit Protocol

Catalog Numbers: XNAPS, XNAP, and XNAPR

Product Description

The REDExtract-N-Amp Plant PCR Kits contain all the reagents needed to rapidly extract and amplify genomic DNA from plant leaves. Briefly, the DNA is extracted from a piece of leaf tissue, a 0.5 to 0.7 cm disk cut with a standard paper punch, by incubation in Extraction Solution at 95 °C for 10 minutes. There is no need for freezing plant tissue in liquid nitrogen, mechanical disruption, organic extraction, column purification or precipitation of the DNA. After an equal volume of Dilution Solution is added to the extract to neutralize inhibitory substances, the extract is ready for PCR. 

An aliquot of the diluted extract is then combined with the REDExtract-N-Amp PCR ReadyMix™ and user-provided PCR primers to amplify target DNA. The REDExtract-N-A mp PCR ReadyMix is a 2X reaction mix containing buffer, salts, dNTPs, and Taq polymerase. It is optimized specifically for use with the extraction reagents. It also contains JumpStart™ Taq antibody for hot start PCR to enhance specificity and REDTaq® dye to allow direct loading of the PCR product onto an agarose gel.


Reagents Provided Product No.
10 extractions,
10 amplifications
100 extractions,
100 amplifications
1000 extractions,
1000 amplifications
Extraction Solution E7526 1.2 ml 12 ml 120 ml
Dilution Solution D5688 1.2 ml 12 ml 120 ml
REDExtract-N-Amp PCR ReadyMix
This is a 2X PCR mix containing buffer, salts, dNTPs, Taq polymerase and JumpStart Taq antibody
R4775 0.15 ml 1.2 ml 12 ml
2mL Collection Tubes T5449 or T7813 Not included 2 X 50 each Not included

Reagents and Equipment Required But Not Provided

  • Paper punch
  • Forceps (small to medium in size)
  • Heat block or water bath at 95 °C
  • PCR primers
  • Water, PCR reagent, Catalog Number W1754

Precautions and Disclaimer

The REDExtract-N-Amp Plant PCR Kits are for laboratory use only. Not for drug, household or other uses. Consult the MSDS for information regarding hazards and safe handling practices.


The Extraction Solution, Dilution Solution and REDExtract-N-Amp PCR ReadyMix can be stored at 2-8 °C for short-term;
–20 °C for long-term. Do not store in a "frost-free" freezer.


All steps are carried out at room temperature unless otherwise noted.


A. DNA extraction

    1. Rinse the paper punch and forceps in 70% ethanol prior to use and between handling different samples.

    2. Punch a 0.5 to 0.7 cm disk of leaf tissue into a 2 ml collection tube using a standard one-hole paper punch.
        If frozen plant tissue is used, keep the leaves on ice while punching disks.

    3. Add 100 µL of Extraction Solution to the collection tube. Close the tube and vortex briefly. Make sure the disk
        is covered by the Extraction Solution.

    4. Incubate at 95 °C for 10 minutes. Note that leaf tissues usually do not appear to be degraded after
        this treatment.

    5. Add 100 µL of Dilution Solution and vortex to mix.

    6. Store the diluted leaf extract at 2-8 °C. It is not necessary to remove the leaf disk before storage.

B. PCR amplification

The REDExtract-N-Amp PCR ReadyMix contains JumpStart Taq antibody for specific hot start amplification. Therefore, PCR reactions can be assembled at room temperature without premature Taq DNA polymerase activity.

Typical final primer concentrations are ~0.4 µM each. The optimal primer concentration and cycling parameters will depend on the system being used.

    1. Add the following reagents to a thin-walled PCR microcentrifuge tube:


Reagent Volume
Water, PCR Reagent X µL
REDExtract-N-Amp PCR ReadyMix 10 µL
Forward Primer Y µL
Reverse Primer Y µL
Leaf disk extract 4 µL*
Total Volume 20 µL

*Note: The REDExtract-N-Amp PCR ReadyMix is formulated to compensate for components in the Extraction and Dilution Solutions. If less than 4 μL of leaf disk extract is added to the PCR reaction  volume, use a 50:50 mixture of Extraction:Dilution Solutions to bring the volume of leaf disk extract up to 4 μL.

    2. Mix gently and briefly centrifuge to collect all components at the bottom of the tube.

    3. For thermal cyclers without a heated lid, add 20 μL of mineral oil to the top of each tube to prevent                     evaporation.

    4. The amplification parameters should be optimized for individual primers, template, and thermal cycler.

Common cycling parameters:


Step Temperature Time Cycles
Initial Denaturation 94 °C 3 min 1
Denaturation 94 °C 0.5-1 min 30-35
Annealing 45 to 68 °C 0.5-1 min
Extension 72 °C 1-2 min (~1kb/min)
Final Extension 72 °C 10 min 1
Hold 4 °C indefinitely  


    5. The amplified DNA can be loaded directly onto an agarose gel after the PCR is completed.
        It is not necessary to add a separate loading buffer/tracking dye.

Note: PCR products can be purified, if desired, for downstream applications, such as sequencing, with the GenElute™ PCR Clean-Up Kit, Catalog No. NA1020.


Troubleshooting Guide


Problem Cause Solution
ill see if hes Little or no PCR product is detected PCR reaction may be inhibited due to contaminants in the plant extract. Dilute the extract with a 50:50 mix of extraction and dilution solutions. To test for inhibition, include a DNA control and/or spike a known amount of template (100-500 copies) into the PCR along with the plant extract.
A PCR component may be missing or degraded. Run a positive control to insure that components are functioning. A checklist is also recommended when assembling reactions.
There may be too few cycles performed. Increase the number of cycles (5-10 additional cycles at a time).
The annealing temperature may be too high. Decrease the annealing temperature by 2-4 °C increments.
The primers may not be designed optimally. Confirm the accuracy of the sequence information. If the primers are less than 22 nucleotides long, try to lengthen the primer to 25-30 nucleotides. If the primer has a GC content of less than 45%, try to redesign the primer with a GC content of 45-60%.
The denaturation temperature may be too high or too low. Optimize the denaturation temperature by increasing or decreasing the temperature by 1 °C increments.
The denaturation time may be too long or too short. Optimize the denaturation time by increasing or decreasing it by 10 second increments.
The extension time may be too short. Increase the extension time by 1 minute increments, especially for long templates.
Target template is difficult. In most cases, inherently difficult targets are due to unusually high GC content and/or secondary structure. Betaine (Product Code B 0300) has been reported to help amplification of high GC content templates at a concentration of 1.0-1.7 M.
Multiple products JumpStart Taq antibody is not working correctly. Do not use DMSO or formamide with Extract-N-Amp PCR ReadyMix. It can interfere with the enzyme-antibody complex. Other cosolvents, solutes (e.g., salts) and extremes in pH or other reaction conditions may reduce the affinity of the JumpStart Taq antibody for Taq polymerase and thereby compromise its effectiveness.
Touchdown PCR may be needed. “Touchdown” PCR significantly improves the specificity of many PCR reactions in various applications. Touchdown PCR involves using an annealing/extension temperature that is higher than the Tm of the primers during the initial PCR cycles. The annealing/extension temperature is then reduced to the primer Tm for the remaining PCR cycles. The change can be performed in a single step or in increments over several cycles.
Contamination Reagents are contaminated. We recommend a reagent blank without DNA template be included as a control in every PCR run to determine if the reagents used in extraction or PCR are contaminated with a template from a previous reaction.


Use of this product is covered by one or more of the following US patents and corresponding patent claims outside the US: 5,789,224 and 5,618,711. The purchase of this product includes a limited, nontransferable immunity from suit under the foregoing patent claims for using only this amount of product for the purchaser’s own internal research. No right under any other patent claim, no right to perform any patented method, and no right to perform commercial

services of any kind, including without limitation reporting the results of purchaser's activities for a fee or other commercial consideration, is conveyed expressly, by implication, or by estoppel. This product is for research use only. Diagnostic uses under Roche patents require a separate license from Roche. Further information on purchasing licenses may be obtained by contacting the Director of Licensing, Applied Biosystems, 850 Lincoln Centre Drive, Foster City, California 94404, USA.


GenElute, JumpStart, ReadyMix and REDExtract-N-Amp are trademarks, and REDTaq is a registered trademark, of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany and/or its affiliates




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