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A database of restriction endonuclease buffers

Todd Richmond

Genome Biology 2000, 1:reports232  doi:10.1186/gb-2000-1-1-reports232

The electronic version of this article is the complete one and can be found online at:

Received:10 January 2000
Published:17 March 2000

© 2000 BioMed Central Ltd


This simple but incredibly useful tool for molecular biologists allows the user to select one or more restriction endonuclease enzymes and determine which of the enzyme buffers provided by New England Biolabs, Boehringer Mannheim, Gibco BRL, Fermentas or Stratagene can be used in a restriction enzyme digest.


The main page provides links to two different Multi-cut databases: one for users of Windows Netscape version 4.5 or higher, and another for Netscape 3.0, Internet Explorer, and Mac users. The database for Netscape 4.5 or higher users requires a Java 1.1 enabled browser. The other database also requires a Java enabled browser. The navigation could not be simpler. Just choose an enzyme, click 'Add', choose another, click 'Add', select the desired threshold of activity, and click 'Find Buffers'. A list of compatible buffers and the activity of each enzyme in each buffer is produced.

Reporter's comments


Last updated 1998.

Best feature

The Multi-Cut database can eliminate the frustration and wasted time spent looking through multiple vendor catalogs or websites looking for buffer information, and eliminates the guesswork in determining which buffers to use for double restriction digests.

Wish list

The only thing that you could wish for is to have all commercially available restriction enzymes and their buffers listed in the database, and the activity of all combinations of enzymes and buffers experimentally confirmed, rather than predicted.

Related websites

New England Biolabs hosts REBASE, the restriction enzyme database, which contains information about all known restriction enzymes. Buffer information for commercial enzymes is available, but there is no search method to find compatible buffers for different enzymes.

Table of links

Assumptions made about all sites unless otherwise specified:
The site is free, in English and no registration is required. It is relatively quick to download, can be navigated by an 'intermediate' user, and no problems with connection were found. The site does not stipulate that any particular browser be used and no special software/plug-ins are required to view the site. There are relatively few gratuitous images and each page has its own URL, allowing it to be bookmarked.