Letter | Published:

Fluorescent Staining for the Differentiation of Intracellular Ribonucleic Acid and Deoxyribonucleic Acid

Naturevolume 193pages695696 (1962) | Download Citation



THE use of acridine orange and acridine orange R for histochemical observations on cellular and virus nucleic acids has been reported by Armstrong and Niven1. Their method has the advantage, compared with conventional staining methods, of increased sensitivity, sharp contrast between ribonucleic acid (RNA) and deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) and uniformly reproducible results. Nucleic acid differentiation is based on the colours produced by the complex between dye and nucleic acid when activated by ultra-violet or blue violet light. The complex with RNA shows a red fluorescence, whereas with DNA the fluorescence is green.

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  1. 1

    Armstrong, J. A., and Niven, J. S. F., Nature, 180, 1335 (1957).

  2. 2

    Metcalf, R. L., and Paton, R. L., Stain Tech., 19, 11 (1944).

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  1. Glaxo Laboratories, Ltd., Greenford, Middlesex

    • S. A. KEEBLE
    •  & R. F. JAY


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