PSI:Biology-Materials Repository FAQs

PSI:Biology-MR FAQ


Registration FAQ
Plasmid search and order FAQ


What is the PSI:Biology-MR?

The PSI:Biology-MR was established in 2006 at the Harvard Institute of Proteomics with the purpose of collecting, annotating, storing, maintaining, and distributing plasmids made by PSI researchers. In June 2009, the repository moved to the Virginia G. Piper Center for Personalized Diagnostics at the Biodesign Institute at Arizona State University, where it is now distributing PSI and other plasmids through DNASU.

How many PSI plasmids are available?

As of October 2014, nearly 90,000 PSI plasmids are available through DNASU. New plasmids are added monthly so check back often to see what's new!?

How do I deposit my clones with the PSI:Biology-MR?

Click here for more information on how to deposit your clones with the PSI:Biology-MR.

Can I also deposit non-PSI clones with the PSI:Biology-MR?

Absolutely! Please contact us to discuss the details.

How are plasmids stored and handled after I share them?

When you share plasmids with the repository, we transform them into a phage-resistant bacterial host strain, single colony isolate, and create working and archival glycerol stocks. These are stored in conventional -80 degree freezers (archival copies) or in the fully automated Biostore freezer storage system, in which working samples are stored in individually 2D barcode-labeled tubes for automated retrieval and array in any format. Information is carefully curated by PhD-level scientists and entered into the database.

What is a Depositors Agreement?

Click here to learn more about the Depositors Agreement.

What is an Expedited Process MTA?

Click here to learn more about the Expedited Process MTA.

What types of plasmids cannot be shared with the repository?

Four types of plasmids cannot be added to the repository.

  1. Plasmids that require an unusual or specific bacterial host strain cannot be added, as we require that all plasmids are stored here in a phage-resistant DH5-alpha-like host strain, in order to maintain the integrity of the collection as a whole.
  2. Plasmids that are identical to material that is commercially available cannot be added to our collection.
  3. Plasmids that are hazardous or legally restricted for distribution cannot be added to the repository.
  4. Plasmids that you do not have the right to distribute (for example, plasmids you received from another researcher and/or made by another person and/or protected by a patent, licensing agreement, etc.) cannot be shared with us unless permission is also granted by any and all relevant third parties. Sometimes this extends even to modified forms of a plasmid. In general, you can share plasmids that you made or made significant modifications, but you cannot share unmodified forms of something you got from another researcher or a company.

Do I have to register to access plasmids in DNASU?

You do not have to register to search the database, download vector and clone maps, or view other information. However, you do have to register and sign in before placing a request. Registration is live so you will be able to sign in as soon as you have completed on-line registration. We recommend signing in before you start searching for plasmids if you are planning to request plasmids (saves a few steps later).

My PI is not on the registration list. How do I register?

You will need to fill out information for both yourself and the PI during registration. People from the same lab will be able to find the PI on the list the next time someone registers.

I am the PI in addition to being the "user" who will place orders.  How do I register?

Please enter your information in both the user and PI fields during registration.

Our organization does not have PIs per se. How do I register?

Please enter information for a supervisor or enter your information in both the user and PI fields.

How do I search for or order PSI plasmids?

There are many ways to search for PSI plasmids on DNASU. You can search by PSI specific terms, such as PSI site, TargetTrack ID, PDB ID, protein expression, solubility or purification. We also have more generalized searches by vector features, gene insert, Clone identifiers, or by a sequence similarity search using BLAST. You can order clones through our website by adding clones to the cart and checking out.? Click here for more ordering details.

I did not find a plasmid of interest in your collection. Am I searching correctly?

The most flexible search tool at DNASU is our BLAST search option, which provides the ability to search the entire database by sequence. You provide a nucleotide or amino acid sequence, and the BLAST search will compare these sequences to the insert sequences of cDNAs in our collection. You will be provided with a list of available plasmids with similarity to your input sequence.

We also have numerous other search options including the Advanced Text Search tool. There, you can use gene names and synonyms, author names, the part or full name of a vector, species name, PDB ID, TargetTrack ID or combinations to search plasmids. It is also helpful to use official gene names and identifiers as they appear in databases such as NCBI Entrez Gene or organism-specific databases like SGD or FlyBase.

If you still cannot find the plasmid you are interested in, please contact us and we are happy to help.

How do I place a request for plasmids I identified on DNASU?

Once you identify a plasmid of interest click the "Add to Cart" button to add it to your shopping cart. When you are ready to check out, click the shopping cart tab (top right of any page) to initiate check-out and follow the steps, being sure to click the button at the bottom until your request is confirmed.

How do I know if my request went through or when I will receive the plasmid?

After you place a request, our system will send a confirmation email.  You can sign in at any time to view the status of your request.  In addition, you will receive an email when the plasmid is shipped, including FedEx tracking information.  Requests are filled in the order in which they are received.  If you are part of the Expedited MTA network, your order will be filled within 10-12 business days. If you are not part of the network, your order will be filled within 10-12 business days after we have received your signed MTA. If your order is for more than 96 plasmids, please contact us for an estimated shipping date.

How much do plasmids cost?

Please see current pricing here.

Why am I charged for a plasmid?

These nominal costs are designed to offset the handling fees associated with preparing and sending plasmids. In keeping with the terms outlined by our granting agencies, our aim is always to offset costs, never to make a profit. In addition, we make an effort to significantly reduce the per-clone costs for large collections in order to encourage high-throughput studies.

How can I pay for these plasmids?

You can pay using a purchase order number or by credit card. If paying using purchase order, we will ship an invoice to the billing address you provide for your order the month after your order is shipped, which can be paid for by check. If you prefer to pay by wire transfer, a $25 processing fee will be added to your invoice. We will contact you with banking details after your order has been filled.

To pay using credit card (Visa, Mastercard, American Express or Discover), select the credit card option at checkout and follow the instructions to enter your credit card information securely using Quikpay. To pay using credit card, please click on the QuikPay icon at the end of your order. Do not forget to click the Submit button to complete your order.

Does the PSI:Biology-MR ship worldwide?

Yes, the PSI:Biology-MR ships plasmids all over the world. See this map to explore the locations where we have shipped plasmids over the past 5 years. If your country is not on the list of countries that we ship to, please contact us so we can add it to our list.

In what form will I receive the plasmids?

We usually ship plasmids at room temperature (no ice) as freshly-prepared bacterial glycerol stocks in T1/T5 phage resistant DH5-alpha bacterial cells. Our years of experience have shown that plasmids are stable in that format during shipment (streak out and/or freeze at -80 upon arrival). We occasionally ship plasmids as purified DNA. This will be indicated on the enclosed information sheet you receive with your order.

How long will it take for me to receive my plasmids?

For each order, we pick the clones from the BioStore, grow them overnight, and then ship overnight. We do not ship over the weekend to ensure that people are in the laboratory to receive the order.

If you are part of our Expedited MTA network or if the clone(s) you ordered do not require the processing of an MTA, you will receive your order within 10-12 business days. Otherwise, you will receive your order within 10-12 business days after we receive the signed MTA.

For orders of >96 clones, processing and delivery may take longer. Contact us for an estimated delivery date.

Will I need to get a signature on an MTA?

For PSI plasmids, yes you will need an MTA signature. We will email you the appropriate MTA, if necessary, once you have placed your order. However, if you are interested, we have developed an Expedited Process MTA that your institution signs and allows all researchers at that institution to receive all plasmids from our collection (PSI and non-PSI) with only an electronic signature.? Please contact us if you are interested in starting this process with your institution. Click here for more information about MTAs.