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QPix 400 Series Microbial Colony Pickers

Our automated microbial colony picking systems pre-screen markers and pick only the colonies you want

The QPix™ 400 series of microbial colony pickers offer you the unique option to simultaneously detect colonies and quantify fluorescent markers in a pre-screening step before picking. Our QPix systems are used worldwide in over 600 installations in research institutes, sequencing facilities, biotech and pharmaceutical companies. QPix robotics developed a famous reputation for reliability and accuracy in sequencing centers during the Human Genome project.

More than just colony pickers, these systems enable scientists to:

  • Automate workflows from sampling and spreading to picking
  • Pick the right colonies every time
  • Efficiently manage large, diverse populations for: protein expression, biofuel research, enzyme evolution, phage display, DNA sequencing, library generation and management

 

 

Shorten Timelines, eliminate unnecessary work and expense downstream

  • Use unique information to identify the best colonies
  • Pre-screen colonies using white light and fluorescent imaging
  • Accurately pick up to 30,000 selected colonies per day from trays or dishes

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Support more applications

  • Objective, quantitative pre-screening
  • Track fluorescent proteins
    • Compatible with broad range of fluorescent cloning vectors
    • Fuse fluorescent proteins with others to study protein folding or secretion, enzyme evolution or protein localization
    • Use as transformation markers or for mutation screens

Fast Track Development of Constructs or Target Proteins

  • Automate and track entire workflow
  • From spreading* transformed cells to colony picking
  • Pre-screen to identify colonies with optimal expression levels
  • Accurately pick colonies of interest
  • Maintain subsequent clonal integrity

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Further Information

  • Validation of Next Generation Microbial Colony Pickers Using Fluorescence in a Complete Workflow Solution: Poster Download.

Unmatched Performance

  • whole_plate.jpg
    Review an entire plate in a
    single view
    Pick the right colony every time
    • Use unique information to identify the best colonies
    • Pre-screen colonies using white light and fluorescent imaging
  • Picking efficiency >98%
    • Organism-specific pins maximize material transfer
    • Automatic calculation of agar height increases accuracy
  • Track entire sample history
    • Enhance visibility of history and location – tag important samples
    • Record and track sample histories from sample spreading* to picking, replication and re-arraying

Systems tailored to workload and application requirements

QPix 460 System

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Automated from spreading to picking

With a fully automated workflow, provides the greatest flexibility in application and experimental design

  • Automatically sample and spread from 1 x 96 well source plate into bioassay every 30 min.
  • Up to 140 destination plates in 2 stacker lanes
  • Sets up screening assays on filters or agar
  • Cherry-picks selected clones after off-line analysis
  • Spreading available only on QPix 460

 

QPix 450 System

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Automated from imaging to picking

No automated spreading enables a greater number of destination plates

  • Up to 210 destination plates in 3 stacker lanes
  • Sets up screening assays on filters or agar
  • Cherry-picks selected clones after off-line analysis

 

 

 

QPix 420 System

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Full functionality in a bench-top format

Full functionality in a bench-top format

  • Pick colonies into maximum 12 destination plates - ability to change plates for longer picking runs
  • Flexibility of plate positioning on the bed offers the ultimate performance in cherry picking selected clones

New! Colorimetric Colony Screening - Blue/White Selection

blue-white3.pngNew algorithm enables accurate monitoring of plasmid transformation efficiency and ensures precise differentiation of colonies by color (Watch Video).

  • Automatically select and pick rare expressing white, blue and powder blue colonies
  • A QPix™ Chroma Filter is used with the module to distinguish multiple ranges of color intensities within bacterial colony samples

Further information

Automated Colorimetric Colony Selection - Blue-White Colony Screening with QPix 400 Series: Application Highlight Download 

New! Zone of Inhibition Detection

halo.pngThe Zone of Inhibition Detection module is a useful tool for antibiotic drug resistance screening or adaptive evolution studies (Watch Video).

  • Select and pick colonies producing zones of inhibition, sometimes referred to as halos or clearing zones based on such user-defined phenotypic parameters
    • Colony size
    • Zones of inhibition diameter
    • Colony diameter
    • Compactness, and more

Further information

Screening and Selection of Colonies Producing Zones of Inhibition Detection for Antimicrobial Discovery: Application Highlight Download

New! Plaque Picking

plaque.pngImage and pick dark colonies (e.g. plaques) or samples with uneven background. A useful module to measure infectivity level of bacteriophages, isolate and purify viruses, optimize viral titers, and more (Watch Video).

  • Invert an image or subtract background to pick dark colonies
  • User is able to define selection criteria based on colony diameter, turbidity and various phenotypic parameters
    • Proximity
    • Axis ratio
    • Compactness

Protein engineering, protein evolution, directed or enzyme Evolution

Large, diverse populations require controlled management throughout screening and selection. QPix 460 provides a highly productive, reliable alternative to conventional manual approaches and significantly shortens the time to obtaining the protein/construct of choice.

Recommended: QPix 460 System

Shortens Timelines

  • Automatic picking – up to 30,000 transformants per day
  • Objective selection – identifies colonies to be picked according to pre-defined criteria
  • Quantitative selection - using fluorescent markers
  • Controls colony destination to optimize downstream processing
  • Accurate, gentle picking – picks only single colonies, minimizes picking errors

Ensures Selection of the Best Transformants

  • Accurately cherry-picks colonies of interest for further screening
  • Maintains clonal integrity
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Quantitative selection based on user-defined parameters such as:
compactness, axis ratio, size, proximity and fluorescent level

Protein expression, transformation and sub-cloning management

Successful screening and selection of clones during the production of proteins by protein expression, transformation and sub-cloning applications requires clonal integrity. The challenge is to maintain clonality and minimize errors when handling serial reaction steps, multiple clones and Petri dishes over a multi-day workflow.

Recommended: QPix 460 System

Maintain Clonal Integrity Throughout Complex Multi-Step, Multi-Day Processes

  • Automate and manage cloning and expression steps
  • Accurate selection and picking of colonies

Supports the Process of Determining and Tracking Expression Levels

  • Suitable for soluble, secreted proteins or inclusion bodies
  • Pick colonies into 96-well plates, and duplicate as required
  • Accurately cherry-pick colonies of interest for further screening
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48 sectored QTray, vented bioassay tray

QPix 460 System Improves Handling Efficiency – Eliminates Risk of Manual Errors

  • Only one manual pipette step after ligation set-up
  • All transformations plated onto bioassay trays
  • Pick next day after overnight incubation
  • Accurately pick a pre-defined number of colonies into deep well plates – no risk of double or missed picks
  • Fluorescence imaging identifies colonies with optimal expression levels
  • Cherry-pick colonies of interest
  • Proven pin sterilization step eliminates risk of cross contamination

Synthetic Biology, Biofuel research and enzyme evolution

Directed evolution of microbes, including yeasts to improve the efficiency of biofuel production requires controlled management of large, diverse populations throughout screening and selection. Although essential, manual colony picking can be a time-consuming, error-prone task. QPix systems provide a highly productive, reliable alternative to conventional manual approaches.

Recommended: QPix 450 or QPix 460 System

Shorten Timelines

  • Objective selection – identifies colonies to be picked according to pre-defined criteria
  • Controls colony destination to optimize downstream processing
  • Automatic picking – up to 30,000 colonies per day
  • Accurate, gentle picking – picks only single colonies, minimizes picking errors

Accurate Selection of Colonies

  • Ensures selection of the best colonies
  • Accurately cherry-picks colonies of interest for further screening - maintains clonal integrity
  • Organism specific pins ensure adequate transfer of material

Case study: Convert Digital Information to Observable, Functional Biology at Department of Energy's Joint Genome Institute

  • 180 diverse proteins from the GH1 enzyme family were screened in a high-throughput, automated approach utilizing the QPix 460 System.
  • Synthetic Metagenomics - Converting Digital Information Back to Biology: Application Note Download

Phage Display

QPix solutions are used and recommended by major library providers such as MorphoSys. They form an integral part of antibody fragment discovery programs for pharmaceutical suppliers.

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Accurate picking using high precision
robotics and organism specific pins
Recommended: QPix 460 or QPix 450 System

Increase Productivity and Efficiency

  • High capacity for larger screens
  • High flexibility in experimental design
  • Single colonies obtained by plating enriched library selections

Risk of Carryover Eliminated

  • Pin sterilization process ensures suitability for even specialist sequencing

Objective Image Analysis Ensures Accurate Colony Picking

  • Picks only single colonies on basis of size, shape, color and proximity to neighbors

DNA sequencing

Large, diverse populations require controlled management throughout screening and selection. QPix 460 provides a highly productive, reliable alternative to conventional manual approaches and significantly shortens the time to obtaining the protein/construct of choice.

Used by 7 out of 8 major sequencing centers during the Human Genome Project, today QPix solutions isolate clones derived from poor quality, degraded DNA, small nuclear-encoded regulatory RNA and from disease mapping.

RECOMMENDED: QPIX 460 OR QPIX 450 SYSTEM
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Systematic tracking: Destination plates
are delivered with lids automatically
removed and barcodes recorded.

Increase Productivity and Reliability

  • Eliminate risk of manual errors
    • Automatic picker prevents double picking from agar trays and errors when placing colonies in wells
  • Eliminate risk of DNA carryover
    • Proven pin sterilization process ensures suitability for even specialist sequencing
  • Systematic tracking from sequence to well
    • Facilitate colony retrieval
    • Check ambiguous sequences by matching picker data log with sequencer output
    • Track deep well plates used for colony growth prior to sequencing

Clone Management - Metagenomics

QPix systems offer cost-effective DNA library generation and management through high throughput, high accuracy colony picking, accurate replication / re-arraying, efficient screening and comprehensive data tracking.
    
Cost-Effective DNA Library Generation and Management

  • High throughput, high accuracy colony picking
  • Accurate replication / re-arraying
  • Gridding to facilitate efficient library screening
  • Comprehensive data tracking

Create BAC and DNA Libraries

  • Replicate up to 70 x 384- or 96-well plates with 100% accuracy
  • Eliminate risk of DNA carryover
    • Proven pin sterilization process ensures suitability for even specialist sequencing
  • Cherry pick selected clones with high accuracy – eliminate risk of double sequences or no growth within the library

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  • Create duplicate libraries and generate sub-libraries to maintain clone viability
  • Rapidly create sub-libraries and remove redundancy
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A re-arraying, cherry picking kit creates fresh
collections only from the wells of interest.

Further Information

Synthetic Metagenomics - Converting Digital Data Back to  Biology: Application Highlight Download

Clone Management - Library Screening

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Unique gridding module of QPix 450 arrays
picked colonies onto filters for hybridization/
screening. Extra stacker capacity for destination
plates facilitateshigh throughput demands.

Conventional library screening time-consuming and error-prone. QPix 450 System with the unique gridding module offers an efficient solution.
    
Replace Time-Consuming, Error-Prone Library Screening Techniques

  • 384-pin head grids each culture onto nylon filter
    • Up to 6 filters, up to 57,600 spots per filter
  • Source 384-well plates fed from stacker
    • Holds 50 standard or 70 low profile plates    


Cost Effective Screening

  • Screen and identify 10 positive clones in a library of 100,000 clones using sufficient probe to cover only 4 filters

Accurate Picking

  • Picks only single colonies – selected on basis of size, shape, color and proximity to neighbors
  • Automatically picks colonies into well plates – arrays up to 25000 duplicates on a single filter for hybridization

Comprehensive

  • Automatic data tracking from well to filter location
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Grid pattern ensures that duplicate colonies are automatically placed in the same sector
as the original colony.  Duplicate patterns vary in each sector. Each pattern is used
to automatically track a positive from filter back to source plate and well.

Refer to the following pages for a list of compatible reagents and supplies

Related Video

Watch the QPix System's high speed operation and accurate colony picking in action.
 
Watch the QPix System's Overview Video

 

 

 

Related Collateral

Brochure

Applications

Data Sheets

Posters

Related Webinars

Related Publications

More Publications

Product Support

 

For product configurations and pricing on QPix 400 Series, please contact us

Latest Citations:
For a complete list of citations, please click here.

 

Functional metagenomics reveals novel salt tolerance loci from the human gut microbiome

EP Culligan, RD Sleator, JR Marchesi, C Hill - The ISME journal, 2012 - nature.com
... manufacturer's instructions. A Genetix (Berkshire, UK) QPix 2 XT colony-picking robot
was used to transfer fosmid clones to 384-well micro-titre plates, which were stored at
−80 °C until needed. Screening the metagenomic library. A total ...

The QPIX 400 systems: Next generation robotic microbial colony pickers with enhanced software and colony selection features

P Tawde - 36th Symposium on Biotechnology for Fuels and …, 2014 - sim.confex.com
The QPix 400 series of robotic microbial colony picking platforms are members of the 
Molecular Devices product line that provides state-of-the-art automated solutions for the 
genomics, proteomics, industrial microbiology and biofuels community. The entire ...
 

Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News

D BioSciences - online.liebertpub.com
... on display at SLAS. The 400 series, which includes the QPix 450 and QPix 460,
with a third system, the QPix 400, to follow later in 2012, features the option to
simultaneously detect colonies and quantify fluorescent markers. ...
 

Impact of interspecific interactions on antimicrobial activity among soil bacteria

O Tyc, M van den Berg, S Gerards… - Frontiers in …, 2014 - ncbi.nlm.nih.gov
... Figure 1 Figure 1. Workflow of the high-throughput interaction assay. (A) Overview of the
antimicrobial screening: bacteria were inoculated with a Genetix Qpix 2 colony picking robot
either in monoculture or in one-to-one interactions on OmniTray™ plates. For the ... ...
 

Identification of novel genes involved in long-chain n-alkane degradation by Acinetobacter sp. strain DSM 17874

M Throne-Holst, A Wentzel, TE Ellingsen… - Applied and …, 2007 - Am Soc Microbiol
... The plates were incubated at 30°C for about 48 h, and colonies were picked using a QPix
robot (Genetix) and transferred into 96-well microtiter plates (Nunc) containing 120 μl LB
supplemented with chloramphenicol and kanamycin in each well. ...

High-throughput screening and selection of high lipid producers for biofuels

W Lew - 37th Symposium on Biotechnology for Fuels and …, 2015 - sim.confex.com
... This method can be easily generalized to other species and other indicators. We cultured
a high-lipid accumulating strain of R. opacus with Nile Red and used a QPix 420 to select
and pick colonies based on morphology and fluorescence intensity. ...
 

A Functional Metagenomic Analysis of the Human Gut Microbiome to Identify Genes Involved in Osmotolerance

EP Culligan - 2008 - cmbn.no
... Methods: 1. NaCl growth curves were carried out to determine salt tolerance. 2. Over 20,000
clones were screened using QPix 2 XT robotic gridding machine. 3. Transposon mutagenesis
carried out using a hyperactive Tn5 in vitro transposition system (EZ-Tn5). Results: ...
 

LIFE SCIENCE TECHNOLOGIES

EAC TEST - sciencepubs.com
... MICROBIAL COLONY PICKERS The QPix 400 series, the next generation of microbial colony
pickers, offers unmatched performance and productivity enabling scientists to manage large,
diverse populations, including 98% efficiency in colony picking, far surpassing the ...
 
 

Construction and characterization of two bacterial artificial chromosome libraries of pea (Pisum sativum L.) for the isolation of economically important genes

F Belzile, CJ Coyne, MT McClendon, JG Walling… - …, 2007 - NRC Research Press
... containing LB, the appropriate antibiotic, and 10% (v/v) freezing medium (Zhang 2000) either
by hand using sterile wooden toothpicks (plates 1–45) or using a Flexsys GS2 robotic workstation
(plates 46–145; Genomic Solutions, Ann Arbor, Michigan) or a QPix robot (plates 146 ...
 
 

Functional environmental screening of a metagenomic library identifies stlA; a unique salt tolerance locus from the human gut microbiome

EP Culligan, RD Sleator, JR Marchesi, C Hill - 2013 - dx.plos.org
... The library was screened as outlined previously [21]. Briefly, a total of 23,040 clones from the
library were screened on LB agar supplemented with 6.5% (w/v) NaCl and 12.5μg/ml
chloramphenicol using a Genetix QPix 2 XT™ colony picking/gridding robotics platform. ...