Fast transformation plating with glass beads

In this video, see how transformation plating can be fast and easy using glass beads.


Glass Bead Protocol

Using glass beads to spread outgrowth containing your transformants offers several advantages over conventional plating methods. It is easier and faster. It doesn't require an alcohol burner. And it results in consistent spreading of colonies over the surface of the plate. There may be a slight loss of efficiency, but the advantages outweigh this for most laboratory plating needs.

The beads are available in two sizes for plating, 2.5 mm and 4.5 mm-diameter beads. You can try both sizes to see which one you prefer, but they function equally well.

1. Start by adding 6 to 12 beads on either side of each plate.

2. Gently mix your outgrowth material by inverting three times and flicking the tube with your finger until the cells are uniformly distributed.

3. Gently pipette a dilution of outgrowth onto the center of your pre-warmed plate.

4. Place the plate on a folded paper towel square, up to four plates, each in two stacks, one for each hand.

5. The paper towel protects your laboratory bench surface from being scratched by the raised edges of the bottom plate.  Vigorously move the plates forward and backwards. Make two complete 360 degree rotations, with stops every 90 degrees.

6. Let the plates sit for two minutes.

7. Pour off the beads into a beaker for recycling.

8. You are now ready to incubate your plates.

If you have any questions, our scientists are happy to help. Please contact us at [email protected] or online at

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