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PMA (propidium monoazide) dye is a DNA modifier invented by scientists at Biotium. It is a photo-reactive dye that binds to dsDNA with high affinity. Upon photolysis with visible light, PMA dye covalently attaches itself to dsDNA. The PMA-modified dsDNA cannot be amplified by PCR. The dye is designed to be cell membrane-impermeable. Thus, in a population of live and dead cells, only dead cells are susceptible to DNA modification due to compromised cell membranes. This unique feature of PMA dye makes it highly useful in selective detection of live bacteria by qPCR. A bacterial sample can be first pre-treated with PMA under light to inactivate dsDNA from dead cells. DNA is then extracted and analyzed by PCR. Since Biotium first developed PMA dye, there have been hundreds of publications on the use of the dye in pathogenic bacterial detection related to food and water safety, medical diagnosis and biodefense; download a partial PMA Reference List. PMA is also available in lyophilized format, catalog no. 40013.
Note: Scientists at Biotium have recently invented a new and improved dye for viability PCR, called PMAxx™ (40069). PMAxx™ functions in a manner very similar to PMA, but has much greater activity and ability to distinguish between live and dead bacteria. PMAxx™ can be used as a replacement for PMA in any bacterial viability-PCR assay. We recommend that customers interested in using PMA try PMAxx™ instead, for improved detection of viable bacteria.
For viability PCR of gram-negative bacteria we highly recommend using our new PMA Enhancer (31038) in conjunction with PMA. PMA Enhancer for Gram Negative Bacteria was designed to improve PMA-mediated discrimination between live and dead gram-negative bacteria. When a sequence from a gram-negative bacteria is amplified by PCR, samples pre-treated with Enhancer show a decrease in the signal from dead cells, with no change in the signal from live cells.
Biotium also provides strain-specific PMA Real-Time PCR Bacterial Viability kits with validated primers for 7 selected pathogens: M. tuberculosis, S. aureus, MRSA, Salmonella, E. coli, E. coli O157:H7 and Listeria. These kits provide everything that you need for the selective detection of your favorite species of live bacteria by real-time PCR. Don’t see your favorite strain? Let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For photoactivation of PMAxx™, PMA or EMA dye, we recommend the use of Biotium’s PMA-Lite™ LED Photolysis Device (E90002), which is designed to conduct photolysis under controlled conditions.
Molecular weight: 511
Abs = 464 nm (before photolysis)
Abs/Em = 510/610 nm (following photolysis and covalent attachment to DNA/RNA)
Dark red liquid
Store at -20°C and protect from light at all times
Nocker, A., Cheung, C.Y., and Kamper, A.K. (2006). Comparison of propidium monoazide with ethidium monoazide for differentiation of live vs. dead bacteria by selective removal of DNA from dead cells. J. Microbio Meth. 67(2), 310-320.
The Glo-Plate™ Blue LED Illuminator is a multi-functional blue LED light box. It can be used for photolysis of PMAxx™ or PMA in viability PCR. It is also an excellent way to develop the staining of gels stained with the visible blue DNA gel stain DNAzure®.
The Bacterial Viability and Gram Stain Kit contains three components: CF®488A-WGA, DAPI, and EthD-III solutions for distinguishing between gram-negative and gram-positive, as well as live versus dead bacteria.
The Yeast Viability Staining Kit is a fluorescent assay to determine yeast viability. Each kit contains two fluorescent components, CF® Dye-labeled Concanavalin A (ConA) and Live-or-Dye® viability dye.
Viability PCR originally used EMA (ethidium monoazide) to inactivate dead cell DNA. Biotium developed PMA (propidium monoazide) in collaboration with investigators at Montana State University (Nocker et al. 2006). PMA is more selective for dead cells than EMA, and became widely used for selective detection of viable microbes and viruses. PMAxx™ is Biotium’s newest viability PCR dye, designed to be more effective than PMA at eliminating PCR amplification of dead cell DNA. Therefore it provides the best discrimination between live and dead bacteria.
Biotium offers the PMA-Lite™ LED Photolysis Device for light-induced cross-linking of PMAxx™ and PMA to dsDNA. The PMA-Lite™ is designed for samples in microcentrifuge tubes.
For users that have samples in a different format (for example, 96-well plates or filters), we will soon be releasing a new light box that will allow for greater flexibility of assay format.
Commercial halogen lamps (>600 W) for home use have been employed for photoactivating PMA in some publications, though results have not been consistent due to inevitable variation in the set-up configurations. If you decide to use a halogen lamp, we recommend that you lay tubes on a block of ice set 20 cm from the light source, on a rocking platform to ensure continuous mixing. Set the lamp so that the light source is pointing directly downward onto the samples (up to 45° downward slant is OK). Expose samples to light for 5-15 min.
Shipment Method: Shipping and handling methods will be assessed and calculated at time of shipment based upon item(s) storage temperature conditions.
Expedited shipment may be requested at time of checkout.
Please note that products with recommended storage at 4°C or -20°C may ship at ambient temperature. This will not affect product performance. When you receive the product, place it under the recommended storage conditions.