TAE Electrophoresis Buffer (50X) is a solution used in Agarose Gel Electrophoresis (AGE) typically for the separation of nucleic acids (i.e. DNA and RNA) and as a running buffer for preparative work. Tris-Acetate-EDTA (TAE) is not only used in nucleic acid agarose and polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis but also in agarose and polyacrylamide gel preparation.
Also described in the literature is TAE's role in denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis methods for broad-range analysis and at various concentrations and to study the mobility of DNA in solution with and without NaCl1.
DNA mobility on AGE is known to depend on the composition and strength of electrode buffer as well as the agarose concentrations. The resolution of super coiled DNA is better in TAE than TBE but TAE's buffering capacity is rather low as it tends to become exhausted during successive electrophoresis. TAE buffer is more useful for larger DNA fragments (<2.0kb) but TBE is more effective to obtain higher resolution of smaller DNA fragments (i.e. 300bp). Either buffer is adequate is applicable for middle-sized DNA fragments.