The ROTOR is the fastest and most powerful colony manipulation robot in the world. It is essential for any large-scale microbial functional or chemical genomic studies.
The Synthetic Genetic Array Upgrade is a software package for the PhenoBooth Colony Counter. It enables high-throughput quantitative analysis of your SGA, Y2H and random mutagenesis arrays, allowing your image analysis to keep up with your pinning.
The Stinger is an automated modular extension to the ROTOR HDA robot for easy, ultra-fast rearrangement of high-density library arrays of yeast, other fungi, bacteria, and algae from colonies grown on solid agar or in liquid culture. It is designed for the picking and spotting of user-specified colonies from high-density arrays onto solid agars in 96-, 384-, 1536-, and 6144-density format.
Microbial strain libraries have been useful for the advancement of biological research. These libraries include those which study the effects of gene knockouts, fluorescently labeled genes, or novel synthetic constructs. Laboratory automation has accelerated the rate at which these libraries may be generated, however, screening tools are often limited to batch systems.
A systematic collection of strains, or library, is an increasingly beneficial tool for biological research. Libraries can be used to study a broad unknown, utilising a knockout library to form the basic understanding of a principle, or they can be used to investigate a specific question over the whole genome. Manipulating these libraries used to be a labour intensive and time consuming process. Although the research potential often outweighed this cost, it could still be hard to justify the expenditure. The SWAp-Tag protocol was developed to allow for quick and easy library customisation, from a parental collection.
SLIP (Strain Library Imaging Protocol) is a novel methodology developed by the KC Huang lab at Stanford University to rapidly image hundreds of thousands of arrayed bacterial cells in one microscopy session.
Advances in robotic automation help standardise repetitive procedures in labs. This in return increases throughput and reliability. The plating and isolation of single colonies is indispensable in the course of any micro- and molecular biology study. Despite the clear benefits of automation, plating cells on robotic platforms is not widely adopted. This is largely due to the inconsistency and the low throughput of current robotic solution – plating one plate at any one time. This is not practical if one is working with hundreds of thousands of samples at a time.
Synthetic Genetic Array (SGA) analysis involves the manipulation of high-density yeast arrays to identify synthetic genetic interactions. In a typical SGA screen, a query strain is systematically crossed to an ordered array of deletion mutants, such that the meiotic progeny harboring both gene mutations can be assayed for growth defects. Identifying these interactions allows for the construction of large genetic networks, which reveal functional dependency and pathway redundancy in yeast.
Picking accuracy, or the ability to pick a microbial colony precisely without touching other unwanted materials, is by far the most important reason why we replace humans with robots for picking hundreds, if not thousands, of colonies in the lab. Robotic pickers provide consistency, repeatability, and are able to work for long hours.
However, not all robotic pickers are able to pick colonies with high accuracy. Many robotic pickers failed to pick with high accuracy for various reasons. That is why it is important to thoroughly test the picking accuracy of any colony pickers.
The yeast 2-hybrid (Y2H) assay is a well-established technique to detect protein-protein interactions. This is an extremely powerful tool for researchers and is often used alongside one or two other methods to examine the multitude of interactions that take place in cells. The assay is straightforward to perform and generates high quality results in a short amount of time.
We are carrying out broad genetic screens in the green alga Chlamydomonas reinhardtii, for which the ROTOR HDA technology would be very useful. However, Chlamydomonas differs from budding yeast in cell size, growth rate, colony morphology and adhesiveness, and light responsiveness. Therefore, it was important to test specifically if the ROTOR HDA technology would work with Chlamydomonas.
Chemical genetic screening is a phenotypic screening methodology that systematically tests the efficacy of thousands of small molecules simultaneously. It is superior to target-based screening methodology for drug discovery because chemical genetic screening is unbiased and screens chemicals directly in complex cellular environment. Therefore, chemical genetic screening is an efficient way to discover and validate new drugable targets and identify potentially efficacious therapeutics.
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