Until recently, scientists were largely limited in their choice of mRNA sources. For decades it was possible to isolate mRNA from eukaryotic samples, such as animal and plant cells, but it was virtually impossible to isolate bacterial mRNA. That's because bacterial transcripts lack the poly-(A) tails found on eukaryotic messages, upon which oligo-(dT) selection, the traditional eukaryotic purification technique, is based.

But now researchers studying bacterial RNA have a new option. Austin, Texas-based Ambion Inc.'s MICROBExpress™ Bacterial mRNA Purification Kit, offers researchers a method for isolating mRNA from many bacterial species, including both Gram-negative and Gram-positive organisms, with greater than 95% of the 16S and 23S rRNA removed.

Courtesy of Ambion Inc.

Ambion's MICROBExpress system

Unlike the positive, oligo-(dT)-based techniques used to purify eukaryotic transcripts, the MICROBExpress protocol is a negative selection technique, enriching for bacterial mRNA by removing the larger rRNA species that comprise 80%...

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