I did a quick test of four differnt electrophoresis buffers last night. The buffers were 1X TAE (Molecular-grade), 1X TBE (Purchased), SB buffer (Home-grade), SB buffer (Molecular-grade).
I will run the test again on a better gel rig (that I dislike using because it uses 3x as much agarose and gel stain as 1 mini gel I used below).
All gels were run at 100V for 1 hour.
SB Home Grade (left). SB Molecular Grade (center). 1 TBE (right).
1x TAE (left). 1x TBE (right).
You can see that the TAE buffer led to gel deformation whereas TBE did not have that problem.
From left to right. TAE, SB Home-grade, SB Molecular-grade, TBE.
The two SB buffers were noticeably cooler than the TBE and TAE buffers (27C for SB and 33C for TBE and TAE) and the DNA migrated slower.
I think most of the smearing is due to the high voltage used. The crappy 2-log ladder (that I have had issues with before) also doesn’t help.
Another problem is my power supply doesn’t handle four simultaneous gels very well, the mA jump up super high in order to generate the needed voltage. I will be running them individuals on the next test.