Below are some of the most commonly asked questions we receive about our services. If you still have a question, please contact us.

About Our Facility

Do I need to Register?

In order to undertake work for you, we need to set up an account for you and your laboratory on our servers. To do this we collect relevant details from you, such as your name, email, postal address, billing details when you register. Your registration with us is also the way you access your results. Your account with us and your results are personal to you and so it is very important that you keep this information confidential.

By registering with DNA Sequencing & Services, you will have begun the first step in what we hope will be a long and fruitful partnership!

How long will my account stay active?

Individual registrations remain active for a period of two years from date of last log-on to our server. After this time they will be deactivated. Hence, if you have not used us for some time and suddenly discover that your log-on no longer appears to work, please contact us to ask for the account to be reactivated.

What are the terms of sale for services and products at your facility?

We encourage all customers to review the Standard Terms and Conditions of Sales at the MRC PPU DNA Sequencing and Services facility. These terms can also be downloaded here.

What is the refund policy at your facility?

We encourage all customers to review the refund policy within the Standard Terms and Conditions of Sales at the MRC PPU DNA Sequencing and Services facility. These terms can also be downloaded here.

How long will you store my data files?

All data is kept for a minimum period of 12 months from the date on which it was generated. After that point, these files will be removed to conserve hard disk space. Customers wishing data to be stored for longer than this should enquire about the feasibility of this. Please note that a fee may be incurred as a result of this storage process.

How is confidentiality maintained?

Our facility is managed as an independent entity (within the MRC Protein Phosphorylation and Ubiquitylation Unit). Our staff are trained to ensure that strict confidentiality is maintained with regard to the nature of each customer’s project and samples. Only facility staff have access to customer details and sample information/results files and this information is never made available to others. You can rest assured that your confidentiality will always be respected in every aspect of our interaction with you.  

How will you use the personal information I provide?

As part of the registration process, we collect some personal information about you and your establishment. This information is only used by us in relation to the work we undertake for you and to keep you informed of important news about our service. We will not provide this information to third parties. For more information, please see our privacy statement and our Data Protection Act statement.

Can you perform genetic tests on samples I submit?

The DNA Sequencing & Services facility is not a genetic testing laboratory open to the public and we cannot perform paternity, fraternity, etc testing. Members of the public who require such services should take a look at this Ministry of Justice page that provides details of accredited bodies.

How should I acknowledge DNA Sequencing & Services?

We are grateful to those customers who are able to acknowledge the work we did when publishing work that utilised our facility. A simple acknowledgement is sufficient and can either be placed in the materials and methods section or at the end of your manuscript depending on journal format. Suggested formats are given below.

Acknowledgement in materials and methods:

DNA sequencing was performed by DNA Sequencing & Services (MRC I PPU, School of Life Sciences, University of Dundee, Scotland, www.dnaseq.co.uk) using Applied Biosystems Big-Dye Ver 3.1 chemistry on an Applied Biosystems model 3730 automated capillary DNA sequencer.

Acknowledgement at end of manuscript:
We thank DNA Sequencing & Services (MRC I PPU, School of Life Sciences, University of Dundee, Scotland, www.dnaseq.co.uk) for DNA sequencing.

Are there any value added tax (VAT) charges?

Please be aware that the standard rate (currently 20%) applies to all services we perform for customers.

Sequencing Reactions

How do I place an order with the DNA Sequencing and Services facility?

Upon creating an account (and your account being approved), you may log-in to our system. Customers can then select the specific service they wish to initiate. Our online system will walk you through submission by requesting specific information from customers relevant to that service. If you have any questions while you’re submitting your sample, please feel free to contact us [(01382) 388019]

Orders from external customers (ie institutions other than The University of Dundee) must be accompanied by an official purchase order form from your institution or paid for using a credit card using our online system.

Payment can be for:

  • The samples you are sending in your individual submission, or
  • To pre-pay for sequencing by setting up a "Spend Down" account with us (details here).

Printed Purchase Orders can be sent together with the samples or separately (but please make it clear which order it relates to by including the name of the person sending the samples and the number of samples being sent).

If you wish to FAX us a copy, please use this FAX number: 01382 388729. If you intend to email us your electronic Purchase Order, please send it to orders@dnaseq.co.uk.

There are a number of people in my lab who use your facility – how does this work?

Each user is associated with a laboratory/company account. The individual designated as the ‘Group Leader/Manager’ will have access to all results for that laboratory’s account. Individual users will only have access to their own results. Group Leaders/Managers may designate others in their lab as additional ‘Group Leaders/Managers’ which will allow them to have access to the whole Laboratory’s/Company’s results.

What read length should I expect?

There are many factors that can affect the read length one obtains. Our facility will endeavour to provide customers with the longest read possible depending on service requested. Our new ABI 3730 sequencer uses the latest technology and provides really excellent results. With a template of appropriate quality, customers can expect read lengths of up to 1000 bases of sequence from a single primer when sequencing standard templates (<20kb). For other types of template (especially for large templates), read lengths can decrease to issues of template quality and quantity. If you have problems achieving good read lengths with high quality sequence, please take a look at our resources section. If you still need more help, please feel free to contact us.

How do you handle repeats?

We check each run before uploading data and if we think that there are issues with samples that could be a result of our processing, we will always repeat the sequencing. Should we determine that the reason for the initial poor/failed sample(s) was due to our processing, both the original and repeat sequencing will be free.

We do not automatically repeat individual failed or poor reactions, since our experience tells us that they will often fail again. However, if you have any concerns about your results, please contact us to discuss them and we will look into what the reasons for the poor/failed reactions might be. As part of doing this, we may decide to undertake some proactive work. This will usually involve modifying the reaction (for example by using more or less template DNA or by adding in other reagents) for selected sample(s). Proactive work is always undertaken free of charge, but does not mean that we will be able to redo all failed/poor reactions for free.

Minipreps & Maxipreps

Plasmid Copy Number Consideration

  • High Copy Plasmids: We have found that the yield for a high copy number plasmid can be around 1mg total DNA. In our experience, we have also found that isolation of DNA from maxi-preps of high copy plasmids grown in a volume of 250ml routinely overload the columns we use and can result in a low purity product thus we discourage customers from proceeding with their maxi-prep in this manner.
  • Low Copy Plasmids: When using low copy plasmids, please ensure that you have identified the optimal strain to use for plasmid growth prior to submitting your cultures.


Antibiotic Resistance

As not all transformed bacteria will contain one's plasmid of interest, genes encoding antibiotic resistance are incorporated in most plasmids. Growth of bacterial colonies on plates or media containing the appropriate antibiotic allows only those bacteria which contain the plasmid, and thus antibiotic resistance, to propogate.    

When requesting DNA Sequencing and Services to perform initial steps of bacterial transformation and growth of miniprep or maxiprep cultures, it is thus critical for customers to convey to staff the antibiotic resistance conferred by their plasmid of interest. Our facility routinely utilizes Ampicillin or Kanamycin. Should your plasmid contain a gene encoding another antibiotic resistance, please contact us so we can determine if we can assist you further. 


Do you need any help? Please get in touch and we’ll be happy to lend a hand.