Department of Botany & Plant Sciences


Covaris S220 Ultrasonicator – User operated

Holders and tubes are available for 50ul to 2ml sample volumes.



  • This instrument can used by customers for precisely shearing DNA in preparation for Illumina sequencing and other applications.
  • Computer-controlled shearing of DNA ensures a high degree of reproducibility with minimum heating of samples.
  • The instrument is well suited to different sample types including genomic DNA and ChIPSeq where more energy is required without sample heating.
  • Other applications include protein preparation.
  • The Genomics Core also uses the Covaris for preparation of customer samples for Illumina sequencing.


  • The instrument uses sonication that is highly focused toward a tube holder that precisely positions sample tubes to receive the energy. The principle is explained at the Covaris web site.
  • Since the energy is highly focused there is little or no heating of samples.
  • The instrument utilizes specialized sample tubes and holders. We have a wide range of tube sizes and matching holders that permit shear volumes of 50ul up to 2ml. The most popular tube is the Microtube which includes an AFA fiber in the tube to enhance shearing. These tubes are Covaris snap cap and have a volume of 130ul. For more details see the Covaris web site.
  • Shearing of DNA uses predefined conditions and is mostly concentration independent so low and high concentration samples can be sheared using the same reproducible conditions.
  • We have found however that preset conditions may not work for all samples so optimization may be required.
  • Here is a quick guide to use the covaris S220 for shearing. Many other protocols can be found at the Covaris web site.


Training and Pricing

  • Prior to usage customers must contact the Genomics Core to arrange instrument training. The startup and shutdown procedures are critical to prevent damage to this high-end instrument. One trained users can operate the Covaris at any time.
  • There is no charge to use the S220. Rather we recharge to the tubes to recover costs. For pricing see the IIGB Reservation and Billing site.


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