Why the shaking in transformation?

  1. When performing transformation, after adding SOC media to the newly transformed cells, we place them at 37 degrees Celsius for an hour to allow growth. I understand the need for an incubator but I'm confused regarding how shaking helps in microbial growth? I did some searching on the internet and apparently shaking or rotating gives us a 2-fold higher transformation efficiency. Ok. But why? Can some one give a logical explanation for this. It makes sense to think that it would be easier for bacterial cells to divide if they were'nt being shaken. But the facts suggests otherwise. Any idea why?
  2. jcsd
  3. Ygggdrasil

    Ygggdrasil 1,532
    Science Advisor

    Shaking helps keep the culture well mixed and aerated. Mixing is important no only to ensure that nutrients are dispersed throughout the media (so that nutrients are not depleted locally), but also to keep the cells dispersed so that quorum sensing does not inhibit cell growth.
  4. Additionally, bacteria are known to have catch bonds that respond to low shear forces. Mechanotransduction signaling is important for tons of cell signaling. Slow shaking to introduce shear forces may mimic in vivo a little bit better:

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