The absorption and fluorescence spectra, fluorescence quantum yields, lifetimes and time-resolved fluorescence spectra are reported for nine different fluorescent DNA-dyes. The work was initiated in search of a quantitative method to detect the ratio of single-to-double stranded DNA (ssDNA/dsDNA) in solution based on the photophysics of dye–DNA complexes; the result is a comprehensive study providing a vast amount of information for users of DNA stains. The dyes examined were the bisbenzimide or indole-derived stains (Hoechst 33342, Hoechst 33258 and 4′,6-diamidino-2-phenylindole), phenanthridinium stains (ethidium bromide and propidium iodide) and cyanine dyes (PicoGreen, YOYO-1 iodide, SYBR Green I and SYBR Gold). All were evaluated under the same experimental conditions in terms of ionic strength, pH and dye–DNA ratio. Among the photophysical properties evaluated only fluorescence lifetimes for the cyanine stilbene dyes allowed a convenient differentiation between ssDNA and dsDNA. The bisbenzimide dyes showed multiexponential decays when bound to either form of DNA, making lifetime-based analysis cumbersome with inherent errors. These dyes also presented biexponential decay when free in aqueous buffered solutions at different pH. A mechanism for their deactivation is proposed based on two different conformers decaying with different kinetics. The phenanthridinium dyes showed monoexponential decays with ssDNA and dsDNA, but there was no discrimination between them. High dye–DNA ratios (e.g. 1:1) resulted in multiexponential decays for cyanine dyes, resulting from energy transfer or self-quenching deactivation. Shifts in both absorption and fluorescence maxima for both ssDNA and dsDNA DNA–cyanine dye complexes were small. Broadening of dye–ssDNA absorption and fluorescence bands for the cyanine dyes relative to dye–dsDNA bands was detected and attributed to higher degrees of rotational freedom in the former.
You have requested a machine translation of selected content from our databases. This functionality is provided solely for your convenience and is in no way intended to replace human translation. Neither BioOne nor the owners and publishers of the content make, and they explicitly disclaim, any express or implied representations or warranties of any kind, including, without limitation, representations and warranties as to the functionality of the translation feature or the accuracy or completeness of the translations.
Translations are not retained in our system. Your use of this feature and the translations is subject to all use restrictions contained in the Terms and Conditions of Use of the BioOne website.
Vol. 73 • No. 6