Arabidopsis Seed Loader for Microplates


V&P Scientific Seed Loaders are used by plant geneticists to simplify the task of placing tiny seeds, such as Arabidopsis, Rice, Wheat, Canola, or Basil seeds into microplates. By designing the loading holes with precision shape, diameter, depth, and lubricity, the seeds fall easily into holes when the seeds are swirled on the loading plate or “swept” across the surface with a brush. As described in Dr. Patrick Krysan’s article “A High-Throughput Method for Capturing Plant Tissue Samples for Genotype Analysis”, a 97% success rate was achieved using V&P’s Arabadopsis Seed Loader. The Seed Loader’s exact measurements allow only one seed per hole, and our new and improved proprietary design ensures the seeds are deposited by spring loaded pins into the wells of the microplate.

Seed Loaders are very easy to use. Simply place an excess amount of seeds on the seed loader and either swirl the seeds around until they fall into the loading holes or use a brush to sweep across the surface. Once all the loading holes are filled, the excess seeds are removed. Next, place an empty microplate over the seed loader and flip upside-down and spring-loaded pins will physically push the seeds into each well.

V&P can design a variety of custom Seed Loaders for unique applications. We can design a loader to accommodate specific seeds or to load a certain number of seeds per well. The Arabadopsis Seed Loader is the most commonly used Seed Loader due to the seed’s broad application, flexibility, and rapid growth rate.

The application of the prototype Arabidopsis Seed Loader is described by Dr. Patrick Krysan in an article describing "Ice-Cap". A High-Throughput Method for Capturing Plant Tissue Samples for Genotype Analysis.


VP 725ZB-4


The Loading Plate on the right illustrates Arabidopsis seeds in the process of being loaded into the holes. Gently "sweeping" the seeds over the loading holes ensures that there is only one seed per hole.



The Photo to the right illustrates a close-up of the Arabidopsis seeds on the loader plate. When all the holes are filled, the excess seeds are removed by gently brushing with an artist's paint brush. This brushing action also removes the top seed from holes that have 2 small seeds in them.

The arrows on the image to the right indicate the plate hole pattern at 9 mm apart.


The photo on the right illustrates the loading holes after the excess seeds have been brushed away.


Once the device is loaded with seeds, a microplate is placed upside down on top and positioned into the loader and then both are inverted. Many seeds fall into the bottom of the wells, or are physically pushed out by spring loaded pins.


Some of the seeds remain in the holes and need to be physically pushed out. As shown in the photo to the right, when the bottom of the seed loader is pressed, the spring loaded pins push the remaining seeds out of the holes and onto the agar in the microplate wells. Easy as 1, 2, 3.


Press the play button below to watch an instructional video which demonstrates the Seed Loader in action.

Download video (mpeg movie- 30MB)

Press the play button to view the video in a flash format, flash must be installed, or click the download link to download a mpeg version.

We also make drop loaders and flip loaders to dispense balls, disks, bars, dowels and Stir StiXs into 96 and 384 microplates. We have even made loaders to dispense tiny stir bars (0.0762 mm diameter, 1.00 mm long - VP 718) that are used by NASA to stir colloids in zero gravity. If we can make these devices, then custom seed loaders for other plant species or microplates can also be made.


  Technical Documents:
    Care & Use of Arabidopsis Seed Loader

    VP 725ZB-3 Instructional Video


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