Richard Lab:Electroporation of E. coli

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This protocol is for the typical electro-transformation of E. coli done in the Richard Lab.

The consensus electroporation protocol should be consulted if deviating from the procedure outlined here.


1. Chill the # electroporation cuvettes by floating them in an ice bath.
2. Remove # vials containing 100μl electro-competent cells from the -80°C freezer and thaw them with the iced cuvettes.
3. Prepare # micro-centrifuge tubes containing 900μl SOB media.
4. Turn on electroporator and set voltage to 1.5 kV (1mm cuvettes).
5. Add add 5μL of ligated DNA sample to 100μl thawed electrocompetent cells on ice. Swirl tip around gently in cells to mix DNA and cells.
6. Place cells back on ice to ensure they remain cold.
7. Pippette 100μL of cell-DNA mixture to cuvette.
8. Wipe off excess moisture from outside of cuvette.
9. Place cuvette in chamber of electroporator.
10. Pulse the cells by pressing button on electroporator twice.
11. Quickly use a pipette to remove the electroporated cell suspension from the cuvette and add it to a tubes containing 1ml SOB.
12. Let cells recover at room temperature for 30-60 minutes.
13. Plate 100μl of eletroporated cells onto prewarmed LB-agar plate supplemented with appropriate antibiotic. Incubate plate overnight at 37°C.


  • When choosing the # of vials and cuvettes, be sure to include 2 vials for two negative controls (one with no DNA added, and another with only cut vector added).
  • Other protocols (specificially the Knight Protocol) were used extensively in the development of this protocol and have much more accessory information than this protocol contains. Feel free to access these protocols from the consensus protocol page

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