Agarose is purified from the polysaccharide complex, agar. This purified fraction forms a neutral gel matrix that is commonly used in gel electrophoresis. We have found that for many routine uses, agar which is considerably less expensive than agarose can be used with satisfactory results.
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Viljoen, C.D., Wingfield, B.D. & Wingfield, M.J. Agar, an alternative to agarose in analytical gel electrophoresis. Biotechnol Tech 7, 723–726 (1993). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00152620
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