What is synthetic biology?
Synthetic biology is a broad term that refers to the manipulation of genetic pathways to harness the power of existing biological systems in novel ways (often to manufacture molecules or proteins). Synthetic biology applies principles that are derived from engineering, specifically design-build-test-learn cycles, to biological systems. By leveraging high-throughput workflows, synthetic biologists can accelerate this process.
Picking the right colonies
For the synthetic biologist, biological building blocks are often generated from bacteria. The design-build-test process is utilized in order to engineer these building blocks. This often requires screening and picking colonies of interest.
Traditionally, colony picking is performed manually, using sterile pipette tips, toothpicks, or inoculation loops, which is a slow, labor-intensive, and time-consuming process. Synthetic biology research can, therefore, benefit greatly from the flexibility and throughput of automated colony pickers. Not only will automated colony pickers make the entire process quicker (picking up to 3,000 clones per hour), but the results are more consistent and reliable, increasing the quality of the data produced.
Some of the benefits of automated colony picking for synthetic biology:
- Enables higher throughput while minimizing manual labor
- Provides consistent, objective colony picking instead of subjective, manual picking
- Accommodates a broad range of different applications
- Electronic data tracking allows for well-documented data control
A typical microbial colony picker workflow
Microbial colony picker
Automated microbial colony picking systems, like our Qpix 400 series, offer the unique option to simultaneously detect colonies and quantify fluorescent markers in a pre-screening step before picking.
Pick colonies accurately and effciently using organism-specific pins that maximize material transfer
- Avoid cross contamination with a reliable pin sterilization process
Support a range of applications such as high-throughput cloning, library screening, strain engineering, and CRISPR editing
QPix™ 400 Series Microbial Colony Pickers
Other great resources
Resources for Synthetic Biology
Researchers at the US Department of Energy’s Joint Genome Institute (DoE JGI) have developed synthetic metagenomic processes supported by high throughput screening technologies, to…
Videos & Webinars
SynBioBeta - QPix Panel Discussion 2020
Customization and Automation
Synthetic Metagenomics: Converting Digital Information Back to Biology