RNeasy Plant Mini Kit

For purification of total RNA from plants and fungi


  • High-quality total RNA in 30 minutes
  • No phenol/chloroform extraction
  • No CsCl gradients, no LiCl or ethanol precipitation
  • Excellent recovery of RNA
  • Ready-to-use RNA for any downstream application
RNeasy Plant Mini Kit (50)

Cat. No. / ID: 74904

50 RNeasy Mini Spin Columns, 50 QIAshredder Mini Spin Columns, Collection Tubes (1.5 ml and 2 ml), RNase-free Reagents and Buffers
The RNeasy Plant Mini Kit is intended for molecular biology applications. This product is not intended for the diagnosis, prevention, or treatment of a disease.

Product Details

The RNeasy Plant Mini Kit includes QIAshredder spin columns for homogenizing and filtering viscous plant or fungal lysates, and RNeasy spin columns for purifying up to 100 μg of high-quality RNA using silica-membrane technology. Purification can be fully automated on the QIAcube Connect. The kit can also be used in combination with a TissueRuptor or TissueLyser system, which provide efficient disruption and homogenization of plant samples.


The RNeasy Plant Mini Kit is ideal for isolation of total RNA from a wide variety of plant and fungal samples with sample sizes of 10–100 mg tissue, or 100–1 x 107 cells (see table "Selected samples processed with the RNeasy Plant Mini Kit"). The binding capacity of the spin-columns is up to 100 µg RNA. The typical yield from 100 mg plant tissue is between 25 µg and 65 µg of RNA, although amounts of RNA can vary due to the developmental stage and growth conditions of the samples (see table "Yield from 100 mg tissue").

Selected samples processed with the RNeasy Plant Mini Kit
Plants Filamentous fungi
Anemone sp.
Arabidopsis thaliana1
Begonia sp.
Beta vulgaris (sugar beet)2
Chlamydomonas reinhardii (unicellular alga)
Clarkia spp.3
Daucus carota (carrot)4
Diascia sp.
Dendranthema sp.
Euglena gracilis (unicellular alga)
Funaria hygrometrica (moss)
Hordeum vulgare (barley)
Lycopersicon esculentum (tomato)5
Malus sp. (apple)6
Nicotiana tabacum (tobacco)
Oryza sativa (rice)
Pelargonium sp. (geranium)
Petroselinum crispum (parsley)7
Pisum sativum (pea)
Prunus sp. (cherry)6
Ranunculus sp.
Ribes nigrum (black currant)
Riccia fluitans (liverwort)
Sinapis arvensis (mustard)
Solanum tuberosum (potato)8
Spinacia oleracea (spinach)
Surfinia sp.
Triticum aestivum (wheat)
Vitis sp. (grapevine)6
Zea mays (maize)
Acremonium crysogenum9
Fusarium avenaceum9
Yield from 100 mg tissue
Sample type Yield
Arabidopsis leaves 35 µg
Maize leaves 25 µg
Tomato leaves 65 µg
Tobacco leaves 60 µg

The purified plant RNA, eluted in 30–100 µl volume, includes viral RNA (see figure " Detection of viruses"). All contaminants, such as polysaccharides, are removed, and the eluted RNA is ready for all downstream applications (see figure " Tissue specificity of histone H4 expression").

See figures


The RNeasy Plant Mini Kit provides QIAshredder columns for homogenization and filtration of viscous plant or fungal lysates by microcentrifugation in combination with RNeasy Mini spin columns for RNA purification. RNeasy technology simplifies total RNA isolation by combining the stringency of guanidine-isothiocyanate lysis with the speed and purity of silica-membrane purification. RNeasy Kits provide the highest-quality RNA with minimum copurification of DNA. For certain RNA applications that are sensitive to very small amounts of DNA, the residual amounts of DNA remaining can be removed using convenient on-column DNase treatment during the RNeasy procedure.


Samples are first lysed and then homogenized in the QIAshredder columns. Ethanol is added to the lysate to provide ideal binding conditions. The lysate is then loaded onto the RNeasy silica membrane. RNA binds, and all contaminants are efficiently washed away. Pure, concentrated RNA is eluted in water (see flowchart " RNeasy Plant Mini procedure").
See figures


RNA purified with RNeasy technology is high-quality and is ideal for use in all applications. Downstream applications include:

  • Northern, dot, and slot blotting
  • End-point RT-PCR
  • Quantitative, real-time RT-PCR
  • Array analysis
  • Poly A+ RNA selection

Supporting data and figures


ApplicationsPCR, qPCR, real-time RT-PCR, microarray
Elution volume30–100 µl
Sample amount10–100 mg
Main sample typePlant samples
Purification of total RNA, miRNA, poly A+ mRNA, DNA or proteinRNA
FormatSpin column
TechnologySilica technology
Time per run or per prep30 minutes
Yield25–60 µg


Kit Handbooks (1)
RNeasy Mini Kit - For purification of total RNA from animal cells, animal tissues, bacteria, and yeast, and for RNA cleanup; RNeasy Protect Mini Kit - For immediate stabilization of RNA in harvested animal tissues and subsequent total RNA purification; RNeasy Plant Mini Kit - For purification of total RNA from plants and filamentous fungi
Quick-Start Protocols (1)


Transcriptional profiles of the response to ketoconazole and amphotericin B in Trichophyton rubrum.
Yu L; Zhang W; Wang L; Yang J; Liu T; Peng J; Leng W; Chen L; Li R; Jin Q;
Antimicrob Agents Chemother; 2006; 51 (1):144-53 2006 Oct 23 PMID:17060531
Glutathione reductase in leaves of cowpea: cloning of two cDNAs, expression and enzymatic activity under progressive drought stress, desiccation and abscisic acid treatment.
Contour-Ansel D; Torres-Franklin ML; Cruz DE Carvalho MH; D'Arcy-Lameta A; Zuily-Fodil Y;
Ann Bot; 2006; 98 (6):1279-87 2006 Sep 28 PMID:17008354
Structural basis for substrate binding and regioselective oxidation of monosaccharides at C3 by pyranose 2-oxidase.
Kujawa M; Ebner H; Leitner C; Hallberg BM; Prongjit M; Sucharitakul J; Ludwig R; Rudsander U; Peterbauer C; Chaiyen P; Haltrich D; Divne C;
J Biol Chem; 2006; 281 (46):35104-15 2006 Sep 19 PMID:16984920
Additional freeze hardiness in wheat acquired by exposure to -3 degreesC is associated with extensive physiological, morphological, and molecular changes.
Herman EM; Rotter K; Premakumar R; Elwinger G; Bae H; Ehler-King L; Chen S; Livingston DP 3rd;
J Exp Bot; 2006; 57 (14):3601-18 2006 Sep 12 PMID:16968883
Dual effects of plant steroidal alkaloids on Saccharomyces cerevisiae.
Simons V; Morrissey JP; Latijnhouwers M; Csukai M; Cleaver A; Yarrow C; Osbourn A;
Antimicrob Agents Chemother; 2006; 50 (8):2732-40 2006 Aug PMID:16870766


Which kit should I use for RNA isolation from Cartilage?

Due to the complex nature of cartilage we would recommend to use the RNeasy Lipid Tissue Kit. Follow the standard tissue protocol in the RNeasy Lipid Tissue Kit Handbook.

To help you choose the correct RNeasy kit for the isolation of total RNA from different types of tissue, please refer to our Kit Selection Guide.

FAQ ID -1026
I accidentally stored Buffer RDD of the RNase-Free DNase Set at°C. Will it still function?
Yes, buffer RDD of the RNase-Free DNase Set will still work. Please make sure that the buffer is thawed completely without any precipitates before using it. If precipitates are visible, the buffer should be slightly heated.
Is it possible to isolate both RNA and recombinant 6xHis-tagged protein from the same sample?
We have no experimental data for this application. However, buffer RLT of the RNeasy Kits for RNA isolation does not contain substances incompatible with Ni-NTA purification of His-tagged proteins. It should be possible to first extract RNA from a sample by following the RNeasy procedure, save the flow-through from the binding step as well as from the RW1 wash, and apply the combined fractions onto a Ni-NTA column for binding of His-tagged proteins. Follow our recommendations for purification of 6xHis-tagged proteins using Ni-NTA resins outlined in the QIAexpressionist handbook.
FAQ ID -532
Do you have a kit for RNA isolation from any kind of sample type?

The RNeasy 96 Universal Tissue Kit enables high-throughput purification of RNA from any animal or human tissue sample, including difficult-to-lyse fibrous and fatty tissues. For single tube format RNA purification, the RNeasy Plus Universal Kit is also available. 

Please refer to the Selection guide for RNA isolation for all sample types to find the optimal solution for your sample source.

FAQ ID -627
What is the composition of Buffer RLT?

The exact composition of Buffer RLT is confidential. This buffer is a proprietary component of RNeasy Kits. Buffer RLT contains a high concentration of guanidine isothiocycanate, which supports the binding of RNA to the silica membrane. Buffer RLT can be purchased separately (cat. no. 79216)

Note: note that ß-mercaptoethanol should be added to Buffer RLT before use to effectively inactivate RNAses in the lysate (10 µl ß-Mercaptoethanol per 1 ml Buffer RLT).

FAQ ID -2793
How can I avoid little or no RNA yields when using an RNeasy Kit?

Avoid RNA degradation due to improper sample storage and handling prior to the extraction procedure with RNeasy Kits. RNA in tissues is not protected after harvesting until the sample is treated with RNAprotect Tissue Reagent, flash frozen, or disrupted and homogenized in the presence of RNase-inhibiting or denaturing reagents. Samples can be immediately flash frozen in liquid nitrogen and stored at −90 to −65°C. as soon as they are harvested or excised. Frozen tissue should not be allowed to thaw during handling or weighing, but cell pellets can partially thaw enough to allow them to be dislodged by flicking. The relevant procedures should be carried out as quickly as possible. Samples can also be stored at −90 to −65°C. in lysis buffer (Buffer RLT) after disruption and homogenization. Frozen samples are stable for months.

For optimal RNA yields with RNeasy Kits it is crucial to:

  • Efficiently disrupt and homogenize the starting material.
  • Use the correct amount of starting material (do not overload!).
  • Perform all protocol steps at room temperature.
  • Perform the dry-spin prior to elution as described in the relevant protocol for a full 5 minutes.
  • Prepare the 80% ethanol for the wash steps with RNase-free water only.
  • Dispense the RNase-free water for elution onto the center of the membrane.
  • Optionally, repeat the elution step, and incubate the spin column on the bench for 10 minutes with RNase-free water before centrifuging.

Please review the instructions in the relevant RNeasy Handbook carefully for best results.

FAQ ID -28
How can I check the integrity of RNA purified using RNeasy Kits?

The integrity and size distribution of total RNA purified with RNeasy Kits can be checked by denaturing-agarose gel electrophoresis, the Agilent 2100 bioanalyzer, or the QIAxcel Advanced System with the QIAxcel RNA QC Kit v2.0.


The respective ribosomal species should appear as sharp bands on the stained gel. 28S ribosomal RNA bands should be present with an intensity approximately twice that of the 18S RNA band. If the ribosomal bands are not sharp, but appear as a smear of smaller sized RNAs, it is likely that the RNA sample has suffered major degradation during preparation.


Size of ribosomal RNAs from various sources


Source rRNA Size (kb) E. coli 16S 1.5   23S 2.9 S. cerevisiae 18S 2.0   26S 3.8 Mouse 18S 1.9   28S 4.7 Human 18S 1.9   28S 5.0










FAQ ID -1024
What is the maximum binding capacity of RNeasy spin columns?
The maximum binding capacity of the RNeasy Mini spin columns is 100 ug RNA. It is 1 mg for RNeasy Midi columns and 6 mg for RNeasy Maxi columns. The maximum RNA binding capacity of the RNeasy MinElute spin columns is 45 µg.
FAQ ID -290
How can I check for purity of RNA isolated using RNeasy Kits?

Purity of RNA isolated with RNeasy Kits can be evaluated by determining the ratio of absorbance readings at 260 nm and 280 nm (A260/A280). This ratio provides an estimate of the purity of RNA with respect to contaminants that absorb in the UV range, such as protein.

Note that the A260/A280 ratio is influenced considerably by pH. As water is unbuffered, the pH and the resulting 260/280 ratio can vary greatly. For an accurate determination of purity, we recommend measuring the 260/280 absorbance in 10 mM Tris-Cl, pH 7.5. Be sure to calibrate the spectrophotometer with the same solution. Pure RNA has an A260/A280 ratio of 1.9-2.1. However, values up to 2.3 are routinely obtained for pure RNA (in 10 mM Tris, pH 7.5) with some spectrophotometers.

For details on how the pH influences nucleic acid purity measurements, please review the reference 'Effect of pH and ionic strength on the spectrophotometric assessment of nucleic acid purity', by Wilfinger WW, Mackey K, Chomczynski P, Biotechniques. 1997 Mar;22(3):474-6, 478-81.

FAQ ID -1023
Are RNeasy spin columns sold separately?
At this time, RNeasy spin columns are not sold separately.
FAQ ID -159
I ran my RNA out on an agarose gel and can see lots of bands similar to a ladder. Why?

RNA has a high degree of secondary structure that needs to be resolved or denatured before running the sample out on a gel. A formaldehyde gel needs to be used to disrupt the secondary structure and eliminate a ladder effect. For details please refer to the chapter "A Guide to Analytical Gels" in the QIAGEN Bench Guide.

Some banding pattern may remain due to the presence of mRNA transcripts of different lengths specific for the respective cell or tissue type.

FAQ ID -745
What is the composition of Buffer RDD?
The exact composition of Buffer RDD is proprietary. Buffer RDD is an important component of the RNase-Free DNase Set, which is used in combination with most RNeasy Kits. The composition and salt concentration of Buffer RDD provides efficient on-column digestion of DNA and also ensures that the RNA remains bound to the column.
FAQ ID -2800
What is the maximum volume of RNA in solution that can be used with the QuantiTect Whole Transcriptome Kit?

A maximum of 5 µl RNA eluate from RNeasy extraction procedures can be added to the reverse-transcription reaction with the QuantiTect Whole Transcriptome Kit.



FAQ ID -1616
Can I clean up my DNase treated RNA samples using RNeasy columns?
Yes. The RNeasy MinElute Cleanup Kit has been developed specifically for cleaning up and concentrating RNA samples. You can also follow the protocols for RNA cleanup in the RNeasy Mini and RNeasy Midi/Maxi Handbook.
FAQ ID -286
What is the difference between disruption and homogenization in the RNeasy System?


Complete disruption of cell walls and plasma membranes of cells and organelles is absolutely required to release all RNA contained in a sample. Different samples require different methods to achieve complete disruption. Please refer to the section 'Disruption and homogenization of starting materials' in the RNeasy Mini Handbook. Incomplete disruption results in significantly reduced RNA yields.


Homogenization is necessary to reduce the viscosity of the cell lysates produced by disruption. Homogenization shears the high-molecular-weight genomic DNA and other high-molecular-weight cellular components to create a homogeneous lysate. Incomplete homogenization results in genomic DNA contamination, and inefficient binding of RNA to the RNeasy membrane resulting in reduced yields.

FAQ ID -139
Can the RNase-Free DNase Set be used for DNase digestions of RNA in solution?

Yes. Even though buffer RDD in the RNase-Free DNase Set is optimized for on-column DNase digestion, the buffer is also well-suited for efficient DNase digestion in solution. Please note that the reaction must be cleaned up after the off-column DNase digest to remove the enzyme and buffer RDD, which will interfere with subsequent RT reactions.

A protocol for in-solution DNase digestion using the RNase-Free DNase Set can be found in Appendix C of the RNeasy MinElute Cleanup Handbook. For subsequent RNA Cleanup, use either the RNeasy MinElute Cleanup Kit, or follow the instructions for RNA Cleanup in the RNeasy Mini Handbook.


FAQ ID -619
What is the difference between Buffers RLT and RLT Plus?

In comparison to Buffer RLT of, e.g., the RNeasy Mini Kit, Buffer RLT Plus of the RNeasy Plus Mini Kit and RNeasy Plus 96 Kit also contains a proprietary blend of detergents that aid in the binding of genomic DNA to the gDNA Eliminator Mini Spin Columns, or to the gDNA Eliminator 96 plate respectively.

FAQ ID -1043
Can acetone be used for precipitation of protein from Buffer RLT lysates generated with RNeasy Kits?

Yes, please follow the Supplementary Protocol Acetone precipitation of protein from Buffer RLT or Buffer RLT Plus lysates (RY22).

Important Note:

Do not use TCA to precipitate protein from Buffer RLT and Buffer RLT Plus lysates. These buffers contain guanidine thiocyanate, which can form highly reactive compounds when combined with acidic solutions.


For simultaneous purification of DNA, RNA, and protein from the same sample (either cultured cells or easy-to-lyse tissues), we recommend using the AllPrep DNA/RNA/Protein Mini Kit. This kit allows precipitation of protein from Buffer RLT lysates using a novel protein precipitation buffer, Buffer APP.

Please note that Buffer APP is not compatible with Buffer RLT Plus. Acetone should be used instead to precipitate protein from RLT Plus lysates.


FAQ ID -1164
What is the composition of Buffer RLC?
The exact composition of Buffer RLC is confidential. This buffer is a proprietary component of RNeasy Plant Kits. RNeasy Plant Kits provide two different lysis buffers: Buffer RLT, containing high concentrations of guanidine isothiocyante and Buffer RLC, comprising high concentrations of guanidine hydrochloride. In most cases, Buffer RLT is the buffer of choice due to its stronger lysis capability. However, depending on the type of starting material, Buffer RLT can cause solidification of the lysate, for example, when using maize endosperm. In these cases, the guanidine hydrochloride-containing Buffer RLC should be used.
FAQ ID -2795
How should RNeasy Kits be stored and how long are they stable?
RNeasy Mini, Midi and Maxi Kits should be stored dry at room temperature (15 to 25°C). The RNeasy MinElute Spin Columns of the RNeasy Micro Kit and RNeasy MinElute Cleanup Kit should be stored at 4°C. RNeasy Kits are stable for at least 9 months under these conditions.
FAQ ID -103
Do I have to discard Buffer RLT with beta-Mercaptoethanol (ß-ME) added to it after 1 month of storage?
No. Beta-Mercaptoethanol (ß-ME) is stable for 1 month, but Buffer RLT itself is stable for at least 9 months at room temperature (15 to 25°C). Simply add fresh ß-ME to the Buffer RLT supplied in RNeasy Kits to ensure complete inactivation of RNases while isolating RNA.
FAQ ID -1037
What can be used as an alternative to the A260 measurement for quantification of small amounts of RNA and DNA?

Small amounts of RNA and DNA may be difficult to measure spectrophotometrically. Fluorometric measurements, or quantitative RT-PCR and PCR are more sensitive and accurate methods to quantify low amounts of RNA or DNA.

Fluorometric measurements are carried out using nucleic acid binding dyes, such as RiboGreen® RNA Quantitation Reagent for RNA, and PicoGreen® DNA Quantitation Reagent for DNA (Molecular Probes, Inc.).

FAQ ID -728
How do you ensure that RNeasy buffers are RNase-free?

Our RNeasy buffers are subjected to stringent quality-control tests to ensure that they are indeed RNase-free. Buffer RPE concentrate and RNase-free water are tested for absence of RNases by incubating 4 µg of total HeLa-RNA in these solutions for 3 hours at 37°C, followed by monitoring RNA integrity via denaturing agarose gel electrophoresis and ethidium bromide staining.

Buffer RLT and Buffer RW1 are inherently RNase-free, since the buffers themselves inactivate RNases during the RNeasy procedure.

FAQ ID -113
Do I need to use RNase inhibitors with the RNeasy Kits?

No. The addition of beta-mercaptoethanol to lysis buffer RLT used in the RNeasy Kits is sufficient to inactivate any RNases in your sample. 

FAQ ID -813
Have you observed co-amplification of genomic DNA from RNA templates used in the QuantiTect Whole Transcriptome Procedure?

No, we have never observed coamplification of genomic DNA from RNA templates used in the QuantiTect Whole Transcriptome protocol when using RNA purified with RNeasy Kits without on-column DNase digestion.



FAQ ID -1619
Effects of low A260/A230 ratios in RNA preparations on downstream applications

The efficiency of downstream applications depends strongly on the purity of the RNA sample used.  Pure RNA should yield an A260/A230 ratio of around 2 or slightly above; however, there is no consensus on the acceptable lower limit of this ratio.  Possible candidates that can increase the A230 include “salt”, carbohydrates, peptides, and phenol (or aromatic compounds in general).  In our experience, the increased absorbance at 230 nm in RNA samples is almost always due to contamination with guanidine thiocyanate, present at very high concentrations in the lysis buffer or extraction reagent used in most RNA purification procedures.

Please find an article discussing the effect of low 260/230 ratios in RNA preparations on downstream applications on page 7 of QIAGEN Newsletter March 15, 2010 . In summary, we found that concentrations of guanidine thiocyanate of up to 100 mM in an RNA sample do not compromise the reliability of downstream applications.



FAQ ID -2248
What has to be done to an RNA sample before loading it onto an Agilent Bioanalyzer?

For RNA isolated on the BioRobot EZ1 and BioRobot M48:

The RNA can be directly applied to the Agilent Bioanalyzer, since it is being denatured in the final protocol steps of these isolation procedures.

For RNA prepared with all other QIAGEN RNA Isolation Products:

We recommend to denature the samples in a water bath for 2 min at 70°C, and then place them directly on ice prior to loading them onto the Agilent Bioanalyzer.


FAQ ID -528
How can I ensure complete genomic DNA removal when using the RNase-Free DNase Set?

To ensure efficient gDNA removal when doing an on-column digest using the RNase-Free DNase Set in combination with RNeasy Mini the following factors are crucial:

  • prevent overloading by adjusting the amount of starting material to no more than the maximum amounts recommended in the RNeasy Mini Handbook
  • ensure complete disruption and homogenization of the starting material as instructed in the section 'Disruption and homogenization of starting materials' of the handbook
  • strictly follow the protocol for on-column DNase Digestion in Appendix D of the RNeasy Mini Handbook (you can let wash buffer RW1 incubate on the column for 3-5 minutes before centrifuging to enhance removal of excess gDNA prior to applying the enzyme)

In the rare case that trace amounts of genomic DNA are still detectable in sensitive downstream applications such as e.g., realtime RT-PCR, an in-solution digest using the RNase-Free DNAase set can be performed. Instructions are presented in Appendix C of the RNeasy MinElute Cleanup Handbook.

Alternatively, a second on-column digest can be carried out in future preparations, immediately following the RW1 wash after the first incubation with DNase.

FAQ ID -1087
What happens if I spin my lysate on the RNeasy Spin Columns at maximum speed?
Spinning at maximum speed is fine, since binding of RNA to the columns will also be efficient. Instead, the critical issue is not to spin the columns below the minimum speeds recommended in the RNeasy Handbooks.
FAQ ID -514
Why does my isolated RNA have a low OD 260/280 ratio?

The A260/ A280 ratio is influenced considerably by pH. Since water is not buffered, the pH and the resulting A260/A280 ratio can vary greatly. Lower pH results in a lower A260/ A280 ratio and a reduced sensitivity to protein contamination*.

For accurate values, we recommend measuring absorbance in 10 mM Tris·Cl, pH 7.5. Always be sure to calibrate the spectrophotometer with the same solution. Please see the Appendix sections in the RNeasy handbooks for additional information.

* Wilfinger, W.W., Mackey, M., and Chomczynski, P. (1997) Effect of pH and ionic strength on the spectrophotometric assessment of nucleic acid purity. BioTechniques 22, 474.

FAQ ID -97
How do I safely inactivate biohazardous flow-through material?

Always dispose of potentially biohazardous solutions according to your institution’s waste-disposal guidelines. Although the lysis and binding buffers in QIAamp, DNeasy, and RNeasy kits contain chaotropic agents that can inactivate some biohazardous material, local regulations dictate the proper way to dispose of biohazards. DO NOT add bleach or acidic solutions directly to the sample-preparation waste. Guanidine hydrochloride in the sample-preparation waste can form highly reactive compounds when combined with bleach.
Please access our Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) online for detailed information on the reagents for each respective kit.

FAQ ID -12
What is the composition of Buffer RPE?
The exact composition of Buffer RPE is confidential. Buffer RPE is a mild washing buffer, and a proprietary component of RNeasy Kits. Its main function is to remove traces of salts, which are still on the column due to buffers used earlier in the protocol. Ethanol, which is added by the user just before using the kit for the first time, is an important ingredient of Buffer RPE.
FAQ ID -2797
Why do I have to add beta-mercaptoethanol (beta-ME) to lysis Buffer RLT of the RNeasy Kits?

When working with RNA, care must be taken to avoid degradation by RNases, which are extremely stable and active. Intracellular RNases are released during the lysis step of the RNA isolation procedure and must be rapidly and thoroughly inactivated to obtain high-quality RNA.

Beta-mercaptoethanol (ß-ME) is a reducing agent that will irreversibly denature RNases by reducing disulfide bonds and destroying the native conformation required for enzyme functionality. In combination with the strong, but temporary denaturing effects of guanidinium isothiocyanate (GITC) contained in buffer RLT of the RNeasy Kits, any RNases present in the material to be extracted from will be completely inactivated.

FAQ ID -101
What is the composition of Buffer RW1?

The exact composition of Buffer RW1 is confidential. Buffer RW1 is a proprietary component of RNeasy Kits. Buffer RW1 contains a guanidine salt, as well as ethanol, and is used as a stringent washing buffer that efficiently removes biomolecules such as carbohydrates, proteins, fatty acids etc., that are non-specifically bound to the silica membrane. At the same time, RNA molecules larger than 200 bases remain bound to the column.

Note: Buffer RW1 should not be used for isolation of small RNAs, for example, microRNAs or fragmented RNA from formalin-fixed tissues, as these smaller fragments will be washed away.  Buffer RWT should be used instead.

FAQ ID -2796
Can I use the RNeasy Mini Kit or RNeasy 96 Kit with fewer than 100 cells?

Yes. The RNeasy Mini Kit and RNeasy 96 Kit have been used successfully to isolate RNA from fewer than 100 cells. We recommend adding 20 ng of carrier RNA to the cell lysate before loading it onto the RNeasy membrane. Please note that the carrier RNA will co-purify with cellular RNA. However, the small amounts of poly-A RNA used as carrier RNA do not interfere with subsequent RT-PCR, even when oligo-dT is used for reverse transcription. Reverse-transcription reactions typically contain a large excess of oligo-dT, and the small amounts of poly-A used as carrier RNA are insignificant in comparison.

Alternatively, the RNeasy Micro Kit can be used for isolating RNA from up to 5x 105 cells. The RNeasy Micro procedure uses a novel technology to purify RNA from small amounts of tissues or cells (as little as 1 cell).

FAQ ID -372
How should I quantify RNA isolated with RNeasy Kits?

The concentration of RNA isolated with RNeasy Kits can be determined by measuring the absorbance at 260 nm (A260) in a spectrophotometer. Absorbance readings should be greater than 0.15 to ensure significance. An absorbance of 1 unit at 260 nm corresponds to 40 µg of RNA per ml (A260 = 1 = 40 µg/ml). This relationship is valid for measurements in water. Therefore, dilute RNA in water to quantify it spectrophotometrically.

An example of the calculations involved in RNA quantification is shown below. Use the buffer in which the RNA is diluted to zero the spectrophotometer:

  • Volume of RNA sample = 100 µl
  • Dilution = 10 µl of RNA sample + 490 µl distilled water (1/50 dilution)
  • Absorbance of diluted sample measured in a 1 ml cuvette (RNase-free): A260 = 0.23
  • Concentration of original RNA sample = 40 x A260 x dilution factor = 40 x 0.23 x 50
  • RNA concentration: 460 µg/ml

  • Total yield = concentration x volume of sample (ml) = 460 µg/ml x 0.1 ml
  • RNA yield: 46 µg

For additional information on RNA quantitation and handling, see the Appendix section in the RNeasy Mini Handbook.

FAQ ID -32