Eliminate Free DNA, Only Detect Viable Organisms

The Grim Reefer® Free DNA Removal Kit eliminates free DNA from samples prior to qPCR analysis. This provides a quick, accurate, and affordable solution to a problem that has haunted labs using DNA-based methods. Use Grim Reefer® to ensure DNA from dead organisms does not inflate quantitative results from PathoSEEK® Microbial Safety Testing Assays.


Live-Dead: A Problem that Haunts qPCR Testing Labs

One of the common objections to using qPCR for microbial testing is the fact that the method does not distinguish between live and dead DNA. qPCR primers and probes will amplify any DNA in the sample that matches the target sequence, regardless of viability. In the past, labs have had to use costly, time-consuming, and possibly hazardous methods to solve this live-dead problem.

Our proprietary Grim Reefer® Free DNA Removal method is saferfaster, and better than other live-dead solutions.


Grim Reefer® reagents are safer to handle than ethidium monoazide (EMA) or propidium monoazide (PMA) treatments.


The Grim Reefer® method adds just 10 minutes to the SenSATIVAx® DNA Purification Process. Much faster than re-running after incubation.


Grim Reefer® performs better than other enzymatic solutions, ethidium monoazide (EMA), or propidium monoazide (PMA) treatments.

The Grim Reefer® Process

Add the Grim Reefer® buffer and enzyme to the sample and incubate at 37C for 10 minutes to degrade any dead of free DNA. After incubation, add MGC lysis buffer to the sample and mix well. The lysis buffer inactivates the Grim Reefer® Enzyme while also lysing the viable cells. After the Lysis step, add the Grim Reefer® Positive Control, which contains a known amount of free DNA, to ensure the enzyme is deactivated. If the Grim Reefer® Positive Control appears in the qPCR results, you know the Grim Reefer® Enzyme was properly deactivated.


Add Grim Reefer® Enzyme and Buffer to homogenized sample and incubate for 10 minutes.


Grim Reefer® Enzyme eats any free DNA present in the sample


Add MGC Lysis Buffer


Lysis Buffer deactivates Grim Reefer® Enzyme and lyses viable cells to expose DNA


Add Grim Reefer® Positive Control


Positive Control is Free DNA used to show the Grim Reefer® Enzyme has been deactivated


View the CannMed 2019 Presentation about Grim Reefer®

Available Grim Reefer® Products

Item # Name Reactions
420143 Grim Reefer® Free DNA Removal Assay* 200 Buy Now
420144 Grim Reefer® Free DNA Removal Control* 50 Buy Now
420145 Grim Reefer® Free DNA Removal Kit* 250/125 Buy Now

* NOTE: qPCR instruments must have Cy5 channel in order to use Grim Reefer®

Still have questions? Don’t hesitate to reach out to us.