4-Methylumbelliferyl β-D-glucuronide hydrate for identification of transformed plants

Product No. M9130

CAS RN 6160-80-1
Synonyms: MUG

Product Description

β-Glucuronidase (GUS) from E. coli has become the reporter enzyme of choice for genetic plant research. 4-Methylumbelliferyl ®-D-glucuronide (MUG) is commonly used as a substrate for detecting GUS gene expression in plants.2 Since the GUS gene encodes an enzyme not found in plants, this system can be very useful in identifying transformed plants. MUG shows little or no fluorescence. However, when treated with β-glucuronidase, the 4-methylumbelliferone product is fluorescent. The fluoresence at pH 10.3 is approximately 100 times as intense as at pH 7.0 (0.15 M glycine buffer).1 These fluorescent properties allow MUG to be utilized as a very effective substrate for GUS.3,4

MUG is also used for identifying E. coli contamination in drinking water5 and for rapid bacterial identification in blood cultures.6

Precautions and Disclaimer

This product is for R&D use only, not for drug, household, or other uses. Please consult the Safety Data Sheet for information regarding hazards and safe handling practices.

Preparation Instructions

This product is soluble in water at a concentration of 0.35 mg/ml. It has also been descibed as being soluble at 0.1 mM in 0.1 M Sorensen’s buffer.6


MUG at 100 mg/100 ml of H2O plus 2 drops TRITON® X-100, which has been sterile-filtered, is stable for 6 months when stored refrigerated.7

Product Profile

Molecular Formula: C16H16O9
Molecular Weight: 352.2 (anhydrous)
Melting Point: 97-100 °C
Specific Rotation: -105° (0.25% (w/v) in water)
Excitation Maximum: 365 nm1
Emission maximum: 445 nm1




  1. J. Org. Chem., 27, 1074 (1962).
  2. Plant Mol. Biol. Rep., 5, 387-405 (1987).
  3. Biochem. J., 61, 569 (1955).
  4. Brot, F.E., et al., Purification and properties of beta-glucuronidase from human placenta. Biochemistry, 17, 385-391 (1978).
  5. Edberg, S.C., et al., National field evaluation of a defined substrate method for the simultaneous detection of total coliforms and Escherichia coli from drinking water: comparison with presenceabsence techniques. Appl. Environ. Microbiol., 55, 1003-1008 (1989).
  6. Sepulveda, J.L.et al., Rapid presumptive identification of gram-negative rods directly from blood cultures by simple enzymatic tests. J. Clin. Microbiol., 28, 177-181 (1990).
  7. Thompson, J.S., et al., Rapid biochemical test to identify verocytotoxin-positive strains of Escherichia coli serotype O157., J. Clin. Microbiol., 28, 2165-2168 (1990).
  8. Feng, P.C. and Hartman, P.A., Fluorogenic assays for immediate confirmation of Escherichia coli. Appl. Environ. Microbiol., 43, 1320-1329 (1982).


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