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Reading Reagents

Many recombinant baculoviruses and E.coli strains are constructed as part of our research work. We make particular use of in-house vectors that are not available commercially to tag proteins for purification and secretion. Some recombinants we make express proteins of more general interest and we supply these as purified preparations to third parties on a cost recovery basis. For example we have provided HIV reagents to the AIDS reagent repository at NIBSC (CFAR) over a number of years. Reading reagents is the section of the lab that deals with this part of our work. If you make use of this service you are, in essence, buying the know-how of a group of people who are very experienced at what they do.

Services include

High throughput recombinant baculovirus formation. We use the modified baculovirus DNA described by us (Zhao et al) to ensure rapid recovery of 100% recombinant virus. You either provide a transfer vector or have us construct one for you based on the vector suite approach we have developed that is described in the projects pages.  We return to you a guaranteed volume of known titre virus or use the virus to go forward for large scale infection. 

Large scale infections. We run the Wave BioReactor ( at 5L scale for large scale infections as part of a collaboration with the Oxford Protein Production Facility on the development of streamlined sources of recombinant protein for structural analysis. We also use small scale high density cultures based around 24 well deep blocks and the Glascol Digital Pulse Incubator/Shaker.

Protein purification. We do NOT run traditional soft gel chromatography but we do use a variety of affinity tags fused to the protein of interest. Current tags we favour are His, Fc and TAP. We also routinely make GFP fusions which can help to resolve expression problems and sometimes offers an additional novel tag for analysis.

Virus archiving. A simple service that grows, titrates and stores your precious recombinants in a variety of long term storage conditions. When you need them, viruses (or E.coli strains) are recovered, tested and dispatched to you. We will carry out QC tests if you need them (e.g. we will PCR check the recombinant locus to confirm there has been no virus degeneration (deletions do occur in the recombinant virus genome if good virology practices have not been followed see Pijlman et al).

To use these facilities contact Sylvia Rua.  Users to date include:



School of Biological Sciences

University of Reading, Whiteknights

Reading RG6 6AH UK

Tel/Fax/Message: +44 118 378 8902