Colony picking can be done manually, or automatically by a robotic platform. It has been a vital part of processes in labs for decades and many (analytical) methods rely on it. Colony picking is used to separate and grow cultures from single strains for use in transformation as well as for microbial screening methods. Automated colony pickers have streamlined and digitized the process of picking, with the potential to pick over 2000 colonies per hour. A colony picker robot also allows for easy tracking through the use of barcodes. Lab Services can help you select the right colony picker which will complement your current workflow. In summary it depends on the specified workflow, the required footprint, and the price range. 

What is a colony picker?

A colony picker is an instrument used to automatically identify microbial colonies growing on a solid media, pick them and duplicate them either using liquid or solid media. It is common in research laboratories in industrial environments like microbiological cultures and in food QA testing. In clinical diagnostics and in food safety tests, colony picking is used to isolate individual colonies for identification. Colony pickers automate this procedure, saving costs and personnel and reducing human errors. In drug discovery bioassays, these pickers are used for screening purposes: they pick thousands of microbial colonies and transfer them for further testing. Other uses of colony picking are cloning and DNA sequencing. 

Benefits of using a colony picker

Using a colony picker has several advantages:
  • The main advantage is ensuring the proper selection of the colony, because the software interacts with the camera while picking, meaning that there are no mistakes or errors.
  • It also ensures picking of colonies without limitations. Whether you want to pick multiple colonies or a single colony, you can easily do the job with automated picking. In addition by using an automated picker you would save a lot of valuable time. This is a major advantage for both the requesting company and executive laboratory.
  • When performing sensitive and delicate bioassays manually, there is a chance of compromising sample integrity. With a colony picker, however, you don't have to worry about these things. A well-programmed system is able to perform even the most complex task with no errors.
  • Another advantage is that the whole process is completed as desired, with no risk.

Want to know more about what Lab Services and our colony pickers can do for your laboratory? Feel free to fill out our contact form. We will be glad to help your organization become more sustainable and efficient.
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