Custom oligo pools, also known as custom oligo libraries, are becoming extremely valuable tools for a wide range of genomic applications. But with many options now available from synthesis companies, how do research teams know where to get custom oligos that best fit their project needs? This article provides a comprehensive guide to purchasing customized oligonucleotide pools.

What Are Custom Oligo Pools?

Custom oligo pools contain large collections of short, synthetic DNA strands called oligonucleotides. Each oligo contains a unique sequence that can be fully customized by the buyer. Researchers utilize these tailored pools of DNA fragments for targeted applications like:

  • CRISPR guide RNA libraries for genetic screens
  • Multiplex PCR assays
  • Target enrichment panels for next-generation sequencing
  • Constructing genes from scratch
  • Directed evolution of proteins

Unlike individual synthetic DNA strands, oligo pools involve the parallel synthesis of thousands to millions of designed sequences. This enables massively parallel experimentation. The scale, complexity, and specificity afforded by custom pools allow researchers to probe genomes and molecular pathways in previously impossible ways.

Key Suppliers of Custom Oligo Pools

Many companies now offer custom oligo pool synthesis, enabling buyers to get tailored pools produced at the scale they need. Some of the top global providers with large production capacities include:

Dynegene Technologies

Dynegene provides synthetic oligo pools for applications like CRISPR libraries, targeted sequencing, and multiplex PCR. With dual headquarters in Seattle, WA and Oslo, Norway, their offerings include:

  • Lengths up to 300 bases
  • Millions of unique oligos per pool
  • Scales from 10 picomoles to multiple micromoles
  • 96-well plate and individual tube formats

IDT (Integrated DNA Technologies)

A leading oligo manufacturer for over 30 years, IDT offers a custom DNA oligos service specialized for pooled libraries. Researchers can order ready-to-use primer pools or custom oligos for self-pooling. Options include:

  • Lengths up to 200 bases
  • Hundreds of thousands of sequences per pool
  • Scales from nanomoles to millimoles
  • Plates, tubes, dried pellets, or liquid formats

Twist Bioscience

Twist provides a range of synthetic DNA pools designed for target enrichment, gene assembly, guide RNA screening, and data storage applications. Their custom pools include:

  • Oligos from 40–230 bases long
  • Up to 230,000 oligos per pool
  • Scales from picomoles to nanomoles
  • Multiplexed pools or individual oligos

GenScript

This global CRO () offers customized oligo pools from femtomoles to gram scales. Researchers can order ready-made pools or have sequences synthesized and then combined. Applications include:

  • CRISPR libraries
  • Gene synthesis
  • Multiplexing
  • Data storage in DNA

Thermo Fisher Scientific

Through its GeneArt gene synthesis business, Thermo Fisher will design and construct custom oligo pools for projects like:

  • Targeted sequencing panels
  • Guide RNA libraries
  • Protein engineering
  • Gene assembly

In addition to these major suppliers, many smaller specialty companies offer oligo pool synthesis as well.

Customization Options for Oligo Pools

The key advantage of custom oligo pools is their ability to precisely specify every design parameter to match research needs. Buyers can customize:

Oligo Length
Typical lengths range from 20 to 300 bases, depending on the synthesis method used. Longer oligos are more prone to errors.

Library Scale and Yield
Pools can be purchased from femtomoles to gram scales, containing hundreds to a billion oligos. Researchers should consider the amount needed for their experiments and anticipated reuse.

Sequence Every DNA base sequence can be customized, which defines the ultimate function of each oligo. This enables tailored applications.

Format
Oligos can be delivered in ready-to-use pools or as individual oligos for self-pooling. Tubes, plates, dried pellets, or liquid formats provide flexibility.

Purification Level
Options include desalting, PAGE, and HPLC. More purity yields better performance but costs more.

Chemical Modifications Modified bases can be inserted to attach dyes, improve stability, or add other functions.

Carefully considering these parameters enables buyers to specify exactly what they need.

Applications of Custom Oligo Pools

The unique customizability of synthetic oligo pools makes them enabling tools for diverse research applications, including:

CRISPR Guide RNA Libraries Pools containing thousands of guide RNAs can be designed to target every gene or regulatory region in a genome. By observing the impacts of disrupting each target, researchers can screen gene functions.

Multiplex PCR Assays Custom primer pools allow many target sequences to be amplified simultaneously for mutation detection or molecular profiling.

Target Enrichment for Sequencing Hybridization to customized probe pools enables selective enrichment of genomic regions of interest prior to sequencing. This focuses sequencing efforts only on meaningful targets.

Gene Synthesis Assembling long DNA constructs from short oligos is an efficient, cost-effective way to build genes compared to column-based synthesis.

Protein Engineering Randomized oligo pools rapidly generate huge molecular diversity. Screening the expressed protein variants enables directed evolution.

Data Storage With oligo synthesis costs plummeting, DNA is an attractive medium for archiving data. Custom oligos enable writing and reading terabytes of data.

The custom nature of synthesized oligo pools empower these advanced applications.

Key Purchasing Considerations

With many custom oligo suppliers now operating, smart buyers should assess some key factors to select the best provider for their project:

Synthesis Quality
The fidelity and accuracy of oligo synthesis chemistries impacts performance. More errors require bigger pools to ensure coverage.

Pool Uniformity Non-uniform amplification can skew results, so balanced oligo representation across the pool is vital.

Turnaround Time Some projects require fast delivery, so buyers should confirm production and shipping timelines.

Technical Support The best suppliers have experts to advise on designing optimized oligo libraries.

Pricing Buyers should price compare to find the best value for their budget, oligo scale, and project.

Thoroughly evaluating suppliers on these criteria ensures the highest quality custom pools matched to research needs.

Conclusion

Custom oligo pools enable transformative applications like high-throughput genomic screening, multiplex assays, targeted sequencing, protein engineering, and DNA data storage. As adoption of these tools accelerates globally, a range of specialty synthesis companies now cater to buyer needs for customized pools. By carefully assessing suppliers based on synthesis quality, scalability, formats, modifications, and service, research teams can access tailor-made oligo libraries to power their cutting-edge work.

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