good sequencing unit

Ted M. tedm at
Sun Mar 31 02:13:19 EST 1996

In article <1384084469-871800 at>, c-elsik at TAMU.EDU
(christine-elsik at wrote:

> I need some opinions on sequencing units.  I'm going to run microsatellites
> on denaturing gels, which will be silver stained.  I'm thinking of either
> the Bio Rad Sequi-Gen II or the Hoefer SQ3 Sequencer.  Bio Rad claims that
> its IPC plates maintain uniform heat distribution, preventing smiling and
> reducing cracking of plates.  A disadvantage of the Bio Rad unit is that in
> order to fit 96 wells, I need to use the 38 x 50 cm glass plates, which
> will be cumbersome when staining.  The Hoefer unit, which will accomodate
> 96 wells has 33 x 40 cm plates, which would be easier to stain.  Does
> anybody have any opinions on either of these units or of Bio Rad and Hoefer
> equipment in general?
> Chris Elsik

   My old lab ran many many gels on the Bio-Rad units and they performed
well. The uniform heat distribution does work to minimize artifacts.The
gels are also very fast to set up and take down, a real joy compared to
tape clamps etc. A few 
times the IPC plates broke down after long hard use; sometimes the buffer
leaked slightly and began an arc that while not dangerous per se (it was
contained in the side rail) did eat away the plastic until it had to be
replaced. Using lightly greased spacers solved this problem. We ran only
the 38x50 plates and they were great for ~60 sequencing lanes, the zillion
well combs giving hard to interpret "dots" with 32P. I wrote a long letter
with comments on the Sequi-Gen-I system to Bio-Rad and they addressed
almost all of my concerns with the Sequi-Gen II units; they gave excellent
support, as well.  
   Hoeffer units (I remember the PokerFace, or some such silliness)
appeared built heavy duty but not quite as engineered, hopefully the
Pharmacia buy out won't change their operation too much (except perhaps
the names...Mini-the-gel-cicle??). Advocates for Hoeffer will undoubtably
post soon.
Good luck!

Ted Michelini
Institute of Molecular Biology
University of Oregon
tedm at

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