What We Do

On this page, you will find more information about the services the MBSU offers, including DNA sequencing, online orders for oligonucleotides, microarray and proteomics services, and the retail bio bar.

Sanger DNA Sequencing Service

As budgets get tighter and research dollars need to be stretched further, the MBSU is pleased to announce a new Sanger DNA sequencing service and a reduced fee structure for all of our clients.

To use the new service and all of our sequencing services download our online submission form (XLS, 52kb) and submit the completed form to biombsu@ualberta.ca.

New Economy DNA Sequencing

Our new economy sequencing service costs $4.75 per sample.

The economy sequencing service differs from our standard service type in that there is no purchase of BigDye necessary, no cycle sequencing PCR, or precipitation of reactions in your lab. Your students, technical staff and equipment are free for other tasks.

Important Notes:

  • Please be sure to indicate economy service type on your requisition form and supply your sample premixed with template and primer together in one tube at the designated concentrations (see requirements in this PDF). We do the rest!
  • Data files from samples received before 8 am will be available the following business day.
  • There are no "redo's" with this service.

Standard DNA Sequencing

Our standard sequencing service costs $3.15 per sample. This price applies to all facility users now, not just users within the Department of Biological Sciences.

With our standard service, you do the reactions in your lab and we run the samples on the 3730.

Note than BigDye Terminator v3.1 is still available at the MBSU.

Full Service DNA Sequencing

Our full service sequencing service costs $14.00 per reaction. The service itself has not changed, we have just reduced the price.

Boutique sequencing is ideal for clients with little or no molecular biology experience. Or for those who need assistance troubleshooting difficult templates.

For full service sequencing, samples brought in before 11 am will be processed and loaded the same day. Results are available the next business day before noon. If the run is full the day you bring in your sample, it will be processed the next business day.

Illumina DNA Sequencing

The MBSU is proud to announce the availability of Illumina Sequencing Platforms in the Molecular Biology Service Unit.

The following platforms are available:


  • This platform is available to all users at a machine cost of $200 per run (not including reagent costs, which may be purchased on a cost recovery basis from the MBSU).
  • The MiSeq platform can generate between 540 Mbases and 15 Gbases depending on reagents used
  • For more detailed information on the MiSeq platform, visit the MiSeq overview page on Illumina.


  • This platform is available to all users at a machine cost of $500 per run (not including reagent costs, which may be purchased on a cost recovery basis from the MBSU).
  • The NextSeq platform can generate between 16.25 and 120 Gbases depending on reagents used.
  • For more detailed information on the NextSeq platform, visit the NextSeq overview page on Illumina.

For more information on the cost of reagents for a particular run, details on Library construction, and procedures for accessing the new platforms, please contact:

Corey Davis at cordavis@ualberta.ca or Sophie Dang at sophied@ualberta.ca.

Order Oligonucleotides Online with Integrated DNA Technologies (IDT)

The Molecular Biology Service Unit (MBSU) offers University of Alberta clients the ability to order oligonucleotides online through our DNA synthesis partner, Integrated DNA Technologies (IDT).

For new clients outside the Department of Biological Sciences, please contact the Site Administrator, Troy Locke (tlocke@ualberta.ca) prior to ordering.

To order oligonucleotides:

  • Visit the MBSU's portal site at IDT where you may order oligonucleotides online with free delivery to the MBSU (5-047 CCIS).
  • If you do not have an existing IDT account, you will need to create one. Please note: When setting up your user profile, do not attempt to change Shipping and Billing information. All IDT products ship at no cost to the MBSU, and as the Portal Administrator, we handle ALL billing via the University of Alberta Peoplesoft system
  • You will need to enter a valid University of Alberta speed code for the payment of your order. Currently, standard oligonucleotides at 25 nmol quantities are $0.23 (CDN) per base, and there are no shipping charges. Other quantities are available with pricing information available at the portal site.
  • Once our site administrator, Troy Locke, approves your order, it will be usually be delivered within three days. We will contact you when your order arrives.
  • Once your oligonucleotides are synthesized and shipped, quality control information will be available through your user profile on the portal site. This includes Mass Spectra on each oligo synthesized.

For more information, contact the site administrator Troy Locke at tlocke@ualberta.ca or (780) 492-1066.

Microarray and Proteomics Facility

Located in room 5-047 of the new Centennial Centre for Interdisciplinary Science (CCIS) building, the Microarray and Proteomics Facility (MAF) is a centralized facility that provides microarray and proteomics facilities to University of Alberta staff and students and users outside of the university community.

The MAF is a teaching resource facility for graduate and undergraduate courses, with tours of the facilities and lectures on the basics of Microarray and Proteomic techniques available, and a variety of automated equipment for liquid handling, DNA preparation, and 2-dimensional protein analysis is available for use by clients.

Classes and training sessions on this equipment are currently conducted on an "as needed basis". However, regular short courses may be implemented in the future if demand increases.

The unit is operated on a cost recovery basis. For more information on the fee structure for different users or to enquire about classes and training sessions, contact the facility director, Anthony Cornish.

Facility Director
Anthony Cornish, PhD
Biological Sciences Microarray and Proteomics Facility, University of Alberta
Phone: 780-492-1066
Email: acornish@ualberta.ca

Bio Bar

A retail bio bar is operated by the MBSU. The lab is stocked with standard offerings that are available for walk-in purchase. For information about ordering specialty items, contact the general MBSU email: biombsu@ualberta.ca.

Custom Bio Bar orders arrive within 3-5 business days. The MBSU will contact you for pick-up once your order has arrived.

We stock items from the following vendors: