How To Make TAE Buffer

About TAE buffer

TAE (Tris-acetate-EDTA) buffer, named so because of the three ingredients of Tris base, Acetic acid and EDTA, is a solution commonly used as an electrophoresis running buffer and for making agarose gels. The tris-acetate protects the DNA from hydrolysis, while EDTA, a chelator of cations such as magnesium, protects nucleic acids against enzymatic degradation.

Unlike TBE buffer, TAE buffer becomes rapidly exhausted so you will need to replace TAE buffer in the electrophoresis tank after each run.

Download the recipe as a PDF

To download the TAE buffer recipe as a PDF then click here.

50x TAE buffer recipe

The recipe below can be used to prepare a 50x 1 L stock solution of TAE buffer. From this, a 1x working solution can be prepared.

Reagent Weight/Volume Final concentration
Tris base 242 grams 2 M
Glacial acetic acid 57.1 mL 1 M
0.5 M EDTA, pH 8.0 100 mL 0.05 M
MilliQ water Up to 1 L

How to make 50x TAE buffer

  1. Weigh out 242 g of tris base and add to a 1 L Duran bottle.
  2. Measure out 700 mL of MilliQ water and add to the Duran bottle.
  3. Dissolve the tris base by adding a magnetic flea into the bottle and placing on a magnetic stirrer. It may take a few minutes to fully dissolve.
  4. Measure out 100 mL of 0.5 M EDTA pH 8.0 and 57.1 mL glacial acetic acid and add to the Duran bottle.
  5. Top up the solution to 1 L with MilliQ water.

50x TAE buffer is used for storage purposes only. Do not use 50x TAE buffer directly, instead dilute to 1x TAE buffer before use.

How to make 1x TAE buffer

The 1x TAE working buffer contains 40 mM Tris-acetate, 1 mM EDTA.

  1. Add 20 mL 50x TAE stock solution previously created to a 1 L Duran bottle.
  2. Add 980 mL of MilliQ water.
  3. Mix the solution by shaking.

Storage of TAE buffer

Store TAE buffer at room temperature (+15oC – +25oC).


TAE buffer itself is not classified as hazardous. However, always be sure to read the safety data sheet before use.


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