Competent cells for everyday bacterial transformation have broad utility for propagating vectors, subcloning DNA fragments, and other routine molecular biology procedures. To accommodate various workflows, the most popular competent cells for subcloning come in several formats including standard, One Shot, and MultiShot packaging.

Selection guide: E. coli strains for cloning and subcloning

These Invitrogen chemically competent cells:

  • Allow blue/white screening
  • Are available in multiple volumes/formats to suit your workflow and budget
ProductSubcloning Efficiency DH5α cells kit box, 4 capped tubes, and 1 brown-capped tube of control DNAMAX Efficiency DH5α T1R cells One Shot kit box, 21 yellow-capped tubes, 1 vial of growth medium, and 1 tube of control DNATOP10 cells One Shot kit box, 21 purple-capped tubes, 1 vial of growth medium, and 1 tube of control DNAOmniMAX T1R cells One Shot kit box, 21 pink-capped tubes, 1 vial of growth medium, and 1 tube of control DNAMach1 T1R cells One Shot kit box, 21 blue-capped tubes, 1 vial of growth medium, and 1 tube of control DNA

Subcloning Efficiency DH5α Chemically Competent CellsMAX Efficiency DH5α T1R Competent CellsTOP10 Chemically Competent CellsOmniMAX T1R Chemically Competent CellsMach1 T1R Chemically Competent Cells
Transformation efficiency>1 x 106 cfu/µg>1 x 109 cfu/µg

>1 x 109 cfu/µg

>5 x 109 cfu/µg (highest)>1 x 109 cfu/µg
Recommended forRoutine subcloning (economical choice)

High efficiency cloning, library preparation

High efficiency cloning, for high copy number plasmidsLow starting DNA (highest efficiency for chemical transformation)Rapid growth and fast turnaround time
T1, T5, and φ80 phage resistance (tonA (fhuA))   
Transform PCR products, unmethylated DNA (hsdR)     
Transform methylated DNA (mcrA)  
Generate ssDNA (Contains F´ episome) 
Available format(s)See all Invitrogen DH5α cells
See all Invitrogen DH5α T1R cellsSee all One Shot TOP10 kits
See all Invitrogen TOP10 cells
See all Invitrogen Mach1 cells
Competent cells: Featured products

In addition to competent cells, we offer a broad suite of products for the cloning workflow.


Have any questions on competent cells or transformation? Click on the resources listed below to access overviews, videos, genotype guides, and educational resources.

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Short articles and digital handbook for cloning applications

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For Research Use Only. Not for use in diagnostic procedures.

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