• Question: how long do you leave crystals to grow or does it vary ?

    Asked by Rebekahxxx<3 to Rebecca, Martyna, Alice on 13 Nov 2018.
    • Photo: Rebecca Roddan

      Rebecca Roddan answered on 13 Nov 2018:

      It really varies! With protein crystals, sometimes a crystal will appear overnight. Often within a week is the rule. But you read papers sometimes where they say they found a crystal on a plate that they’d left for a year. They’d just forgotten about it and then looked at the plate again and discovered crystals.

      Usually I’d leave a plate for a month and check it every week. Then I’d maybe check it 3 months later and if there wasn’t anything, get rid of it.

    • Photo: Martyna Pastok

      Martyna Pastok answered on 14 Nov 2018:

      It varies. Sometimes you need to leave them to grow to have them bigger but you cannot leave them too long as it may impact quality of data you will get from them. Some crystals grow straight away after setting up and they do not change their morphology much, but it is rare in my opinion. Some crystals are appearing after a few days, weeks… and they can continue their grow for a few days… Usually the better data, the fresher crystal… but always you have exemptions of this rule. I usually look at my plates straight away after setting up, then every few days, and then once per week for a month. After a few months I inspect plates and then binning them as often they are just dried out.