Transformation is a process by which some bacteria take up foreign genetic material (naked DNA) from the environment. Once it enters the cytoplasm, the genetic material may be degraded by nucleases if it is different from the bacterial DNA. If the exogenous genetic material is similar to bacterial DNA, it may be integrated into the chromosome. Sometimes the exogenous genetic material may co-exist as a plasmid with chromosomal DNA.
Not all bacteria are capable of taking up exogenous DNA from their environment. For the bacterium to uptake DNA, it has to be competent. Bacteria can be naturally competent or made competent by artificial methods. The factors that regulate natural competence vary between various genera. The practical approach to acquire competent cells is to make the bacterial cells artificially competent using chemicals or electrical pulses.
Note: To endure the heat shock treatment, it is important the cells used are in the log phase of growth.
The phenomenon of transformation has been widely used in molecular biology. Bacteria may be used as host cells to make copies of the DNA, cloning, to express large amounts of proteins, generation of cDNA libraries and in DNA linkage studies as they are easily grown in large numbers.
We offer a range of Escherichia coli bacterial cells made competent with the highest efficiencies by optimized procedure specific to each strain. Choose from 24 new competent cells for a wide variety of applications, including protein expression, routine or difficult cloning, and library generation. Many trial sizes available!