About the PSI:Biology-Materials Repository


The PSI:Biology-Materials Repository (PSI:Biology-MR) was established in 2006 at the Harvard Institute of Proteomics with the mission of providing centralized storage, maintenance and distribution of plasmid clones produced by PSI researchers. In 2009 The PSI:Biology-MR moved to the Virginia G. Piper Center for Personalized Diagnostics at the Biodesign Institute at Arizona State University.

For each PSI plasmid, the PSI:Biology-MR collects detailed information including information about the vector, insert, and protein expression, which is curated by a PhD level scientist and is stored in the DNASU plasmid repository (https://dnasu.org).  Each plasmid is sequence verified upon receipt and stored in state-of-the-art automated freezer storage system that is linked to DNASU.  Through DNASU, researchers can search for and request plasmid samples from the collection.  DNASU is also linked to the PSI-Nature Structural Biology Knowledgebase (SBKB), which facilitates cross-referencing of a particular plasmid to protein annotations and experimental data. Please see our slide show for more information about the repository and an overview of how to submit and order plasmids.

Another mission of the PSI:Biology-MR has been to simplify the Material Transfer Agreement (MTA) process, thus decreasing the time it takes for institutions to deposit or receive plasmids.  To achieve this goal, the PSI:Biology-MR pioneered two documents: the Depositor’s Agreement, which sets forth the terms with the depositor’s institution for the PSI:Biology-MR to distribute deposited plasmids, and the Expedited Process MTA, which institutions sign to allow their researchers to receive any plasmid from the PSI:Biology-MR without the burden of signing an MTA for each request.

DNASU Plasmid Repository

Our repository has more than just PSI plasmids! We have a over 202,000 plasmids in 600 organisms in over 100 vector backbones. This collection includes:

  1. Over 75,000 plasmids containing human genes
  2. Glyco-enzymes - a collection of over 1,400 human glyco-enzymes in Gateway Entry and mammalian expression vectors
  3. Affinity Reagents including recombinant antibodies from the NIH-funded Protein Capture Reagents Program
  4. Saccharomyces cerevisiae
  5. A collection of the 5,600 genes encoded by P. aeruginosa
  6. Complete genome collections for Bacillus anthracis, Francisella  tularensis, Vibrio cholorae and Yersinia pestis

You can view an overview of these collection here or see the details of these collections here and also search for and request these plasmids through our website.


To learn more about the MR and how to use these resources for your research, here are our three publications:

  • Seiler, C.Y., Park, J.G., Sharma, A., Hunter, P., Surapaneni, P., Sedillo, C., Field, J., Alger, R., Steel, J., Throop, A., Fiacco, M., and LaBaer, J. (2013) DNASU plasmid and PSI:Biology-Materials repositories: resources to accelerate biological research. Nucleic Acids Research doi: 10.1093/nar/gkt1060 PMID: 24225319
  • Cormier, C.Y., Park, J.G., Fiacco, M., Steel, J., Hunter, P., Kramer, J. Singla, R., Labaer, J. (2011). PSI:Biology-materials repository: a biologist's resource for protein expression plasmids. Journal of Structural and Functional Genomics. Mar 1 [Epub ahead of print]. PMID: 21360289
  • Cormier, C.Y., Mohr, S.E., Zuo, D., Hu, Y., Rolfs, A., Kramer, J., Taycher, E., Kelley, F., Fiacco, M., Turnbull, G., and LaBaer, J. (2010). Protein Structure Initiative Material Repository: an open shared public resource of structural genomics plasmids for the biological community. Nucleic Acids Research 38(Database issue): D743-9. PMID: 19906724

Interested in submitting your plasmids to the MR?

Here are some reasons why you should deposit your plasmids at our repository! If you are interested, please contact the MR's scientific liaison.