A complete collection of single-use and high-throughput electrocompetent and chemically competent E. coli

Choosing the ideal competent cells for your cloning applications and workflows is a critical component of success. Aspects to consider when selecting your competent E. coli strain include:

  • Transfection method – chemical versus electroporation
  • Transformation efficiency – bacterial strain and genotype
  • Downstream application – protein expression, library production, general cloning
Competent cells selection guide

Competent cells selection guide

Use the Component cell selection guide to help determine which competent cells are best suited for your cloning experiments.

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Quickly find the right competent cell strain that fits your application and your budget. Find the right strain for your research. Each E. coli strain is specially engineered to keep you moving ahead.

Application E. coli strain Available as high efficiency  ( >10 9 cfu/μg)
Routine cloning / subcloning DH5α Family* > 1 x 109
DH10B Family* > 1 x 109
TOP10 Family* > 1 x 109
OmniMax 2 T1R* > 5 x 109
Mach1 T1R* > 1 x 109
Protein expression BL21 Family* N/A
Cloning unstable DNA Stbl2, Stbl3*, Stbl4 

Stbl2: > 1 x 109

Stbl4: > 5 x 109

Library production DH10B Family > 1 x 1010
Stbl4 > 5 x 109
OmniMax 2 T1 > 5 x 109
ssDNA propagation DH12S > 1 x 1010
Bacmid creation DH10Bac N/A
Cre-lox recombination  PIR1 / PIR2 PIR1: > 1 x 1010
Single Strand DNA Isolation   TOP10 F' / TOP10 F'

TOP10 F': > 1 x 109

TOP10 F' (LB): > 5 x 109

Highest efficiency MegaX DH10B T1R > 3 x 1010
Plasmid prep  of SupF-containing vectors   TOP10/P3 > 1 x 109
MC1061/P3 N/A
Plasmid purification of dam or dcm methylation sensitive restriction enzymes INV110 N/A
Use with Gateway vectors and plasmids with ccdB gene ccd B Survival T1R > 1 x 109
*Certain E. coli strains within the family are available in a high-throughput configuration.
⚡ = Electrocompetent cells.

Available competent cell formats

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