ZyGEM NZ Limited is a biotechnology company with innovative technologies that have applications in a broad range of life sciences and nucleic acids diagnostics The company is a world leader in identifying enzymes extracted from extremophiles (microorganisms from extreme environments) and using these for a wide range of applications.

The company was created in 2005 as a spin-off from commercial and academic R&D going back to the mid 80's. Its foundation was based on 25 years of research into extremophiles and the central resource of the reagents side of the business is an extraordinary collection of cultured bacteria, archaea and fungi isolated in environments ranging from 0° to 106°C. 

ZyGEM focuses on high-value products for basic research, forensics and molecular diagnostics.  It produces innovative DNA extraction products, as well as enzymes used in molecular biology, diagnostics and industrial applications.

ZyGEM products have established a reputation for quality and innovation that provide important benefits to customers. For example, the company’s flagship DNA extraction and detection family of products significantly increases the speed, yield and accuracy of the analytic process. ZyGEM is adding new technologies, products and product line extensions to its offerings and is expanding its geographic and industry reach.

ZyGEM NZ is now under new management and is actively pursuing new markets in Asia. With its sister company, MicroLab Diagnostics (USA) we are well advanced in the development of new diagnostic tools including low-cost, rapid sampling and DNA extraction devices.




ZyGEM & MicroLab stronger than ever!


The reagents of ZyGEM (Hamilton, NZ) and the microfluidics technology of MicroLab (Charlottesville, USA) have re-emerged under the umbrella of MicroGEM International PLC. At the helm of this new venture are, Richard Healey and Jonathan Sims, who bring a wealth of corporate management and manufacturing expertise. MicroGEM is pleased to build upon the work of its subsidiaries by providing novel reagents and microfluidic instrumentation to the forensic and clinical sectors, while developing reagents and technologies for new markets, including the agricultural and veterinary industries.

MicroGEM continues to develop instruments and consumables to simplify Nucleic Acid analysis in the laboratory and beyond. Products in development will provide forensic laboratories with new tools to address backlog and incoming samples.

New products include the PDQeX, low cost device that produces PCR and HID-ready DNA in minutes. Together with a new formulation phytoGEM, it will also allow rapid extraction from plant leaves.


MicroGEM Board


Newly formed Board of Directors for MicroGEM International PLC. Left to right: James Landers, Richard Healey, Jonathan Sims, Martin Goddard, David Saul (Absent: Garth Smith)

What are the ZyGEM kits designed for?

•  Small samples where purification steps are not feasible
•  Low copy number and single cell DNA/RNA extraction
•  Rare or precious samples that must not be contaminated
•  Hazardous samples where the user must be protected
•  Automation where columns and beads are not feasible
•  High throughput automation
•  Cost-sensitive diagnostics

What are the ZyGEM advantages?

•  Small volumes = high yields for small samples
•  No purification steps needed for most applications = high yields
•  Closed tube means that sample is protected from contamination
•  Closed-tube. Ihe user is protected from hazardous samples
•  Easily automated on off-the-shelf robots
•  Low cost in reagents, reduces consumables and technician time
•  The lowest amount of plastic waste in the business.

For more information about how the workflows of ZyGEM kits compare to kits from other vendors, Click Here



forensicGEM has been formulated for high-throughput DNA extraction from crime samples and CODIS samples. The reagents are compatible with high-multiplex STR profiling kits and all reagents are rigorously Quality Controlled to test for efficacy and for the absence of human gDNA and mtDNA.


ZyGEM technology is ideally suited to the large-scale batch processing of reference samples for forensic analysis of storage card and buccal swab reference samples. In addition, they have been deployed and validated in US police crime labs, such as Kansas City Police Dept, commercial forensic service providers, such as Fairfax forensics, and forensic research institutes, such as the National College of Forensic Sciences. 


See the QC page for information about the Quality control of forensicGEM



The RNAGEM kits are the latest developed by ZyGEM. The kits come in two configurations - with and without RNAse-free DNAse I. Both kits produce RNA that is suitable for direct use in a wide range of downstream applications. The first kit to be released in the range is RNAGEM Tissue.


RNAGEM was developed to offer a very rapid RNA extraction solution that minimises the level of manipulative bias that can adversely effect gene expression analysis. Unlike any other rapid prep kit, there is only a single proteolysis step and the RT is used directly. This means that a better representation of mRNA transcript ratios is maintained and when trans-intron RT-PCR is performed, gDNA copy number can be used for normalisation.


See the QC page for information about the Quality control of RNAGEM



prepGEM has been formulated for high-throughput DNA extraction from animal tissue samples. The prepGEM kits contain reagents that have been optimized for downstream, PCR-based applications including STR's, SNiPs, DNA sequencing, RFLP analysis etc.


The extracted DNA can be used directly with analytical platforms based on PCR, or quantitative PCR. Unlike most DNA preparation methods that require multiple steps and special handling, ZyGEM’s DNA extraction technology uses a single tube and a simple two-step temperature cycle to prepare DNA for analysis, greatly reducing sample preparation time and the risk of sample contamination.


All prepGEM kits are formulated for animal testing, biosecurity and R&D applications. See the QC page for details