What Tubes Should I Use?

Subtitled: Do I Really Have To Use 1.5 ml Microfuge Tubes?

Yes, we REALLY do insist on 1.5 ml flip-top microfuge tubes ... but on larger sets we will accept a 96-well plate, with certain restrictions.

If you have a modest-sized set of samples (say, a couple dozen or less), please use 1.5 ml flip-top microfuge tubes.

The technicians have to open A LOT of tubes. They hold and open the tube with one hand, flipping it open with a thumb, and pipette with the other hand. Screw-cap tubes won't work! 0.5 ml microfuge tubes are painful to open one-handed.

Please don't cut the hinges on your tubes. If you do, then when they are opened one-handed, the lid goes flying away!

Yeah, these sound like trivialities ... until you're the tech facing the racks of samples! It really helps us keep up to speed if the tubes can be handled quickly and painlessly.

For larger sets, you CAN submit them in 96-well plates.

We know it's difficult to pipette out 50 tubes and to carefully label them. You CAN send them to us in a 96-well plate, for your convenience. Please use plates only when you have relatively large sample sets (a couple dozen at least). The pattern of primer useage must be simple and error-proof, easily understood and easily pipetted. Here are the details:

  • For a partial plate, each sample must still be individually logged into the computer, and each sample must have its own tracking number. Please see this link for directions on layout and labeling:

    Submitting individually-numbered samples in a 96-well plate

  • For a full 96-well plate, you can use the Plate Submission mechanism and get a 10% discount. In that case, you get just a single tracking number for the entire plate. Click

    Plate Discounts: FULL 96-well plates

  • Please use conical-bottom plates, such as used in PCR machines (e.g. 200 ul wells). The plates should NOT be flat-bottom wells. Round-bottom wells s are marginally acceptable if you have excessive sample volume.

  • Primers are usually best left in tubes, but can be in a matching plate if you want. This works if your primer pattern is complicated, arbitrary or might cause our technicians to make an error. See this link for instructions:

    Submitting individually-numbered samples in a 96-well plate

  • Seal all plates with an adhesive before you bring it to us!

If you feel you have a sample set that is not accommodated by these guidelines,
perhaps you could contact the Core Director.

We reserve the right to reject any sample that is improperly labeled, unreadable, or any sample sets organized in a way that we feel may increase the risk of error during handling in the Sequencing Core.