I found competent cell vials in my freezer with no box - how can I tell what strain/product it is?
Almost all Invitrogen™ competent cell vials are labeled by a laser with the strain name and a batch number. The label is etched into the plastic on the side of the vial, but it may be obscured from view by frost in the freezer.
The cap color can also be used to distinguish between products. Below is a list of cap colors for some of our products.
Chemically competent cells cap colors:
TOP10 One Shot® - Purple; TOP10F' One Shot® - Blue; One Shot® Mach1™ T1 Phage Resistant - Blue; One Shot® OmniMAX™2 T1 Phage Resistant - Pink; MAX Efficiency™ DH5α™ - Brown; Library Efficiency® DH5α™ - Blue; Subcloning Efficiency™ DH5α™ - Clear; One Shot® MAX Efficiency DH5α-T1™ Phage Resistant - Yellow; One Shot® DH10B™ T1 Phage Resistant - Green; INVαF' One Shot® - Clear; MAX Efficiency™ Stbl2™ - Green; One Shot® Stbl3™ - Clear; INV110 One Shot® - Red; BL21 Star™(DE3) - Red; BL21 Star™(DE3)pLysS - Blue; BL21-AI™ - Orange; BL21(DE3)pLysE - Pink; BL21(DE3)pLysS - Green; BL21(DE3) - Brown
Electrocompetent cells cap colors:
TOP10 Electrocomp™ - Yellow; TOP10F' Electrocomp™ - Green; ElectroMAX™ DH10B™ - Yellow; ElectroMAX™ DH10B™ T1 Phage Resistant - Orange; ElectroMAX™ DH5α-E™ - Red; ElectroMAX™ Stbl4™ - Clear
Answer Id: 3345
Are your E. coli strains derived from K12?
Is the growth rate of TOP10 cells affected when harboring pZErO®-1 plasmids?
Yes, the growth rate of TOP10 cells harboring pZErO®-1 will be altered, and depends on how much functional ccdB protein is present. An insert fragment that does not completely disrupt the expression of the LacZ/ccdB fusion (usually very small inserts) will allow some production of the lethal protein which in turn will reduce the growth rate of the cell and produce lower plasmid yields. In contrast, a completely disrupted LacZ/ccdB fusion will allow normal (pUC level) growth and plasmid yield. Typical plasmid yields of pZErO®-1 in LB/Zeocin media are 25% - 75% of pUC grown in LB/Amp. Colonies grown in SOB/Zeocin are more healthy and users can expect 75% - 200% of plasmid yield when compared to pUC grown in LB/Amp.
Answer Id: 3356
Why is Beta-mercaptoethanol (BME) no longer included with the One Shot® Chemically Competent E. coli kits? What was the purpose of the BME during E. coli transformation?
Beta-mercaptoethanol (BME) degrades carbohydrates on the cell surface, which theoretically allows DNA to get closer to the membrane prior to heat shock. In the past, this was thought to improve the efficiency of transforming E. coli strains, and the addition of Beta-mercaptoethanol was a standard practice for all chemical transformations. However, galU and galK minus strains, such as TOP10, INVαF', DH5α™, DH10B™ and TOP10F', have fewer carbohydrates on the cell surface. After repeated testing of all of our strains, we determined that adding BME had no beneficial effect on transformation efficiency, and we chose to remove BME from the chemically competent One Shot® kits.
Answer Id: 3359
Are TOP10 cells lacIq+ (plus) or lacIq- (minus)? That is, do they produce the lambda lacIq repressor protein?
TOP10 cells are lacIq- (minus). They do not have the lacIq gene and therefore do not produce the lacIq repressor protein. lacIq is most commonly found on an F' episome, and therefore is present in TOP10F', JM101, JM109, and NM522 strains.
Answer Id: 3361
I need to clone unmethylated DNA from a PCR reaction using a strain that has the hsdRMS mutation to avoid restriction after transformation. Is TOP10 suitable for my purposes?
Yes, TOP10 has the hsdRMS mutation, so this strain can be used to clone DNA from PCR reactions and other non-methylated sources. hsdRMS is a mutation in the system that E. coli uses to recognize foreign DNA. There are two parts to this system, methylation and restriction. E. coli methylate DNA at certain sequences, and if the DNA is not methylated at these sequences it will be recognized as foreign and restricted. Thus, if unmethylated DNA is transformed into E.coli that does not carry the hsdRMS genotype, it is recognized as foreign and enzymatically degraded.
Answer Id: 3784
Can I directly clone, propagate and express in BL21 without using TOP10?
It is imperative that a cloning strain such as TOP10 be used for characterization of the plasmid, propagation, and maintenance. BL21 cells are wild-type for endA and recA, which could result in poor miniprep quality and a greater chance of plasmid rearrangements due to recombination. In addition, BL21 cells contain the T7 RNA polymerase gene which is expressed at low levels even in the absence of inducer. If the gene is toxic to E. coli, plasmid instability and/or cell death can result.
Answer Id: 3845