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TOPO® PCR Cloning - Meet the Inventor Series

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Published on May 1, 2012

Learn more at http://www.lifetechnologies.com/TOPO

This is an interview with Dr Jon Chesnut Life Technologies where he discusses his teams scientific discoveries and inventions that lead to products from Life Technologies.

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My name is Jon Chesnut, I'm a Research Fellow in synthetic biology, R&D.

Tell us about working with TOPO® Cloning Technology

TOPO® is one of my favorite technologies that I've been associated with here. Back in the day probably our biggest product was TA Cloning®. So this was a way of quickly capturing Taq-amplified PCR products and that presented a brand new paradigm for cloning researchers. And it was the novel thing on the market, no one else had it, and when we were a small company, it really was our bread and butter at the time. [...]

And so we batted around the idea and there was a couple people in the R&D department that really championed TOPO® Cloning and applied it to TA Cloning and we saw the mix there, kinda that sliced bread moment. We worked on it for some time but it pretty much fell together that we could create a TA TOPO® Cloning kit. It took our TA Cloning kit, which was the industry standard, and moved it into a completely new paradigm. It was so efficient, the customer just had to add a micro liter of the TOPO® vector to their PCR product and they would get a plateful of colonies the next day.

Customer's technical ability out of the equation, all they had to do was take a micro liter from this tube, and a micro liter from that tube, let it sit for five minutes; transform cells and they were done.

It kind of took the need for a customer to develop any sort of expertise to be able to clone a piece of DNA and so it really freed them from that so they could move on to the next question that they wanted to ask.
What was customer response to TOPO® Cloning Technology?

It was immediate and it was very positive. It was very clear the first time a customer tried, especially TOPO® TA Cloning, it worked, it worked every time; and sales were just through the roof. And so the customer uptake was really good. The feedback was extremely positive. It was like, "oh my gosh I can't believe this works so well". So we were very happy with the uptake.

How was TOPO® Cloning Technology expanded?

Like I said, TA Cloning was like the first kind of application but we expanded it to other things we expanded it to blunt cloning, and we also developed in my group directional TOPO® cloning were we did some tricks with how the PCR product and the vectors created. And so those were kind of the main background technologies; and then we expanded those into a lot of our different systems. Multiple different expression vectors, vectors for cloning PCR products, we started working with Gateway technologies; we created Gateway entry TOPO® vectors; which was very popular.

So we've expanded that technology, kind of the "Intel inside" kind of idea where that technology into a lot of our different platforms; it was very useful and popular.

Is there anything that compares to TOPO® Cloning Technology?

There's really not; I think that the TOPO® brand continues to be very popular and very useful. There is another slightly competing technology but it doesn't come near to doing everything that TOPOisomerase does so clearly I think it's still in a class among itself of products.

Learn more at http://www.invitrogen.com/site/us/en/...

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