Transformation Protocol also provides an interactive version of this protocol where you can discover and share optimizations with the research community. 


Quick Ligation products may be transformed by many different methods. The following protocol is recommended by New England Biolabs.


  1. Thaw competent cells on ice.
  2. Chill approximately 5 ng (2 μl) of the ligation mixture in a 1.5 ml microcentrifuge tube.
  3. Add 50 µl of competent cells to the DNA. Mix gently by pipetting up and down or flicking the tube 4–5 times to mix the cells and DNA. Do not vortex.
  4. Place the mixture on ice for 30 minutes. Do not mix.
  5. Heat shock at 42°C for 30 seconds*. Do not mix.
  6. Add 950 µl of room temperature media* to the tube.
  7. Place tube at 37°C for 60 minutes. Shake vigorously (250 rpm) or rotate.
  8. Warm selection plates to 37°C.
  9. Spread 50–100 µl of the cells and ligation mixture onto the plates.
  10. Incubate overnight at 37°C.

    * Please note: For the duration and temperature of the heat shock step as well as for the media to be used during the recovery period, please follow the recommendations provided by the competent cells’ manufacturer.