Help needed in screening libraries.

Jim Hutchins hutchins at
Thu Jul 20 21:54:49 EST 1995

Richard Hastings (mbxrh at wrote:
: Does anyone have any idea how many plaques I need to screen to have a
: good chance of finding a full length gene that I'm after?  It's a moth
: cDNA library cloned in lambda phage.  Also how many plaques is it best
: to use on a single plate of 150mm diameter?
: Thanks in advance for any help you can give me.

Depends on the gene.  If you're looking for actin, then a hundred might
do the trick :-).  I was dismayed to find (actually, I found, then I
was told) that for the gene I was screening, the probability was about
1 in 10^-9 so if I want it, I can screen a billion colonies.  Whatever
you're looking for is somewhere between :-).

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