Griffitts:Electrocompetent Cells

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Contents

Procedure

Note: This should be done immediately prior to transformation; cells are no longer competent following flash freezing so they cannot be stored

Using a Sorvall centrifuge

  • Grow recipient strain at 30°C (for S. meliloti) or 37°C (for E. coli) overnight in 25 mL LB broth
  • Inoculate 100 mL LB broth with 250 μL of the overnight culture
  • Shake at 30°C (for S. meliloti) or 37°C (for E. coli) until OD600 = 0.5
    • After this point, keep all cultures and liquids on ice
  • Spin at 8000 rpm for 10 minutes in cold SS34 rotor
    • The Sorvall Centrifuge is found in the Harker/Breakwell lab (747 WIDB)
    • Divide the culture into 2 tubes with ~40 mL each
  • Remove all supernatant
  • Gently resuspend with 15 mL cold 10% glycerol
  • Spin at 8000 rpm for 10 minutes
  • Remove all supernatant
  • Gently resuspend with 15 mL cold 10% glycerol
  • Spin at 10,000 rpm for 10 minutes
  • Remove all supernatant (the pellet is especially fragile at this point)
  • Gently resuspend with ~200 μL cold 10% glycerol and combine
  • Immediately place the cells on ice

Using an Eppendorf microcentrifuge

Note: This has only been tried once—so it is not guaranteed and may be subject to revision

  • Grow recipient strain at 30°C (for S. meliloti) or 37°C (for E. coli) overnight in 4 mL LB broth
  • Inoculate 4 mL LB broth with 100 μL of the overnight culture
  • Shake at 30°C (for S. meliloti) or 37°C (for E. coli) until OD600 = 0.5
    • After this point, keep all cultures and liquids on ice
  • Divide culture into four 1.5-mL Eppendorf microfuge tubes (~1 mL culture per tube)
  • Spin at 13,2000 rpm for 30 seconds
  • Dump and tap
  • Gently resuspend with 0.5 mL cold 10% glycerol
  • Spin at 13,2000 rpm for 30 seconds
  • Dump and tap
  • Gently resuspend with 0.5 mL cold 10% glycerol
  • Spin at 13,2000 rpm for 30 seconds
  • Dump and tap (the pellet is especially fragile at this point)
  • Gently resuspend in the liquid that remains in the tube and combine
  • Immediately place the cells on ice

Transformation

  • Add 1.5 μL DNA solution to 50 μL electrocompetent cells
  • Transfer electrocompetent cells with added DNA into a chilled electroporation cuvette
  • Shock
    • There are electroporators in the MMBIO 460 lab (794 WIDB) and in Dr. Erickson's lab (844 WIDB)
    • Use the EC1 setting
  • Immediately add 400 μL LB broth and pipet up and down
  • Transfer to an Eppendorf tube
  • Place on shaker at 30°C for 1 hour
  • Plate 10 μL onto selective medium
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