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  • In biology, Arabinose is often used to induce the PBAD promoter described here.
  • Note that PBAD is induced by L-arabinose


  • You can buy Arabinose for example at Sigma.
  • The chirality of arabinose used for induction is very important. L-arabinose works great, but D-arabinose doesn't induce at all. L-arabinose is available from Sigma (catalog# A3256).


  • MW = 150.14
  • Concentrations in the range 0.001% - 1% are typically used to produce a range of transcription rates from the PBAD promoter.
  • Note that Arabinose is toxic to ara mutant strains that have araD only (Englesberg et al., 1962). This is for example the case in MC4100. See E. coli genotypes for other strains.

10% w/w Arabinose Stock Solution:

  • Add 1g of Arabinose to 9ml of milliQ water in a small falcon tube.
  • Filter sterilize with a 0.22μm filter.
  • Can be stored at room temperature.


  • Arabinose is just a sugar and harmless.


  • A few general details about arabinose can be found on the wikipedia page.
  • [1] Guzman LM, Belin D, Carson MJ, Beckwith J. Tight regulation, modulation, and high-level expression by vectors containing the arabinose PBAD promoter. J Bacteriol. 1995 Jul;177(14):4121-30