Comparison between TAE and TBE

There are some differences between TAE buffer and TBE buffer. Generally, 1xTAE or 0.5xTAE is used for agarose gel electrophoresis, whereas 1xTBE is used for PAGE.


Recovery of nucleic acids

TAE has been prefavorably used so far because of the poor recovery of nucleic acids from TBE-gel. However, recent commercial recovery kits utilizing silica works well for either TAE-gel or TBE-gel.


RecoveryOΔdepending on
the method
Moving rateXOSlow rate
–>Long G.E.
—>High temp.

TAE is cheaper than TBE. Price of TAE is 40% lower than TBE at maximum according to volume. Concentration of stock solution of TAE and TBE are 50x and 10x, respectively. So, many TBE bottles occupies more space than TAE does.

Moving rate

Since ion strength of TBE is higher than TAE, solutes in TBE move faster than in TAE. Moreover, temperature of gel increases using TAE-gel for a long time, pH might significantly decrease because of Tris's temperature dependency of pKa. Fluorescent moiety of labelled DNA might go bad in the conditions of high temperature and lowered pH.

Buffering capacity

Buffering capacity of TBE is greater than that of TAE.