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Bio-On-Magnetic-Beads (BOMB): Open platform for high-throughput nucleic acid extraction and manipulation

Oberacker, Phil, Stepper, Peter, Bond, Donna, Hohn, Sven, Focken, Jule, Meyer, Vivien, Schelle, Luca, Sugrue, Victoria, Jeunen, Gert-Jan, Moser, Tim, Hore, Steven, von Meyenn, Ferdinand, Hipp, Katharina, Hore, Timothy and Jurkowski, Tomasz ORCID: 2019. Bio-On-Magnetic-Beads (BOMB): Open platform for high-throughput nucleic acid extraction and manipulation. PLoS Biology 17 (1) , e3000107. 10.1371/journal.pbio.3000107

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Current molecular biology laboratories rely heavily on the purification and manipulation of nucleic acids. Yet, commonly used centrifuge- and column-based protocols require specialised equipment, often use toxic reagents and are not economically scalable or practical to use in a high-throughput manner. Although it has been known for some time that magnetic beads can provide an elegant answer to these issues, the development of open-source protocols based on beads has been limited. In this article, we provide step-by-step instructions for an easy synthesis of functionalised magnetic beads, and detailed protocols for their use in the high-throughput purification of plasmids, genomic DNA and total RNA from different sources, as well as environmental TNA and PCR amplicons. We also provide a bead-based protocol for bisulfite conversion, and size selection of DNA and RNA fragments. Comparison to other methods highlights the capability, versatility and extreme cost-effectiveness of using magnetic beads. These open source protocols and the associated webpage ( can serve as a platform for further protocol customisation and community engagement.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Published Online
Status: Published
Schools: Biosciences
Publisher: Public Library of Science
ISSN: 1545-7885
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 5 February 2019
Date of Acceptance: 10 January 2019
Last Modified: 25 Oct 2022 13:08

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