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They can be, depending on the technique used, the expected transformation efficiency and how the cells are handled. For special applications, competent cells prepared in-house using standard methods may not provide the efficiency you need.
No. Most strains of competent cells are suitable for producing plasmid DNA that will be used to transfect insect or mammalian cells for expression of the protein. The BL21 competent cell strains have special traits enabling protein expression in bacteria.
Things to consider when planning bacterial transformation:DNA impuritiesSource of DNAAmount of DNA usedStorage and handling of the competent cells
No. Competent cells should not be stored at -20C for any length of time. The cells suffer a dramatic drop in transformation efficiency when stored higher than -80C.
Competent cells should be thawed on ice. The transformation efficiency is dependent on the proper handling of the cells (maintaining cold temperature until transformation).
Re-freezing competent cells will result in a decrease in their transformation efficiency. If the cells are frozen first in a dry ice / ethanol bath before placement in the -80C freezer, the loss will be about two-fold. If placed directly in the -80C freezer, the loss in transformation efficiency is about five to ten-fold.
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