Pharmacia ALF automated sequencer, info wanted.

Brian Foley brianf at
Thu Apr 14 15:44:31 EST 1994

We are trying to decide between a Phamacia ALF automated sequencer
and an ABI set-up.

We are not doing mega-base sequencing.  We will be sequencing a variety
of genes, cDNAs, PCR products etc... Usually only 2-4 Kb from any
one clone.  We also may want to try gel-shift assays, RNA cleavage
assays and other non-sequencing applications.

I have searched (via GOPHER) the archives of the bionet lists and have
found about 50 opinions on the ABI and very few on the ALF.  But
no real hard data on a direct comparison between the two.  Does
anyone have any such input?   

The ALF uses a single dye and T7 (sequenase) polymerase as standard 
operating procedure.  The ABI uses four dyes and
thermo-stable cycle sequencing as standard operating procedure.

The ALF uses four lanes per template primer (A,C,T,G) the ABI uses
one lane with all four dyes in it.  

The raw data from the ALF is quite readable, similar to standard 35-S 
sequencing technology.  The raw data from the ABI must be 
computer-enhanced because the four dyes have
different mobilities in the gel and thus do not come out in the same
order that one would see with 35-S.

I've been told that the ABI laser is prone to (expensive) failure, but
that was from a Pharmacia salesman...  The ALF laser and detectors
are stationary, the ABI scans across the gel.

Any comments, either directly to me via e-mail or posted to this list
would be appreciated.
*  Brian Foley               *     If we knew what we were doing   *
*  Molecular Genetics Dept.  *     it wouldn't be called research  *
*  University of Vermont     *                                     *

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