Extraction of intact RNA is essential for quantitative gene expression analysis. Isolating high quality RNA from gram-positive bacteria is known to be problematic particularly from organisms that have optimal growth temperatures greater than 45 °C. We report a novel extraction protocol for the rapid isolation of fully intact RNA from thermophilic Geobacillus thermoleovorans using a lysing matrix containing a mixture of ceramic and glass beads, triisopropylnaphthalene sulfonic acid (TNS), and p-4-aminosalicyclic acid (PAS). Combining both detergents, TNS and PAS, appeared to increase denaturation of RNases at thermophilic temperatures. Gel electrophoresis revealed that only RNA isolated using the TNS-PAS procedure demonstrated sharp, undegraded 23S, 16S, and 5S ribosomal RNA bands. RNA extracted from geobacilli using commercially available kits was extensively degraded and was not suitable for detecting gene expression. Total RNA yields extracted with the TNS-PAS protocol were greater than eightfold higher than those obtained with available kits. Critically, it was also shown that only RNA isolated with the TNS-PAS-based method was suitable for monitoring thermophile gene expression patterns using RT-PCR analysis.
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