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Seeding Crystallization Drops

Hampton Research Seed Bead User Guide

Generate seeds of protein crystals

Easily generate consistent seed stocks
Use serial dilution to control the number of seeds introduced into the drop

The Seed Bead kit is used to create a seed stock for performing subsequent seeding experiments. The Seed Bead kit contains 24 Seed Beads manufactured from PTFE, individually contained in a special 1.5 ml microcentrifuge tube.

Seeding allows one to grow crystals in the metastable zone. Crystallization in this zone provides control, reproducibility and an improved likelihood of a successful crystallization experiment. Also, crystals can grow from seeds but cannot spontaneously nucleate. By placing a seed or solution of seeds in a drop which is saturated to the metastable zone, one can use the seeds to grow larger single crystals. By controlling the number of seeds introduced into the drop, one can control the number of crystals grown. It is not practically possible to measure and know the number of seeds introduced to a drop, but by performing serial dilutions from a concentrated seed stock, one can control the number of crystals grown in the drop.

Using the Seed Bead kit, one can create crystal seed stock for subsequent seeding experiments. Crystals are placed in the microcentrifuge tube with the PTFE Seed Bead and either vortexed or sonicated to generate a seed stock. Then by performing serial dilutions, one can control the number and size of crystals in the experiment.

The Seed Bead kit is useful for the preparation of seed stocks for automated and semi-automated microseeding (D'Arcy 2007, Harlos 2008).

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