During streak seeding, one touches the Seeding Tool to crystalline material to dislodge, remove and transfer small crystals (seeds) to a drop that will support the growth of potentially larger and more perfect crystals.
A seed can provide a template on which additional macromolecules can assemble and under the proper conditions, grow to form a large single crystal. Using seeding can avoid problems associated with growing crystals from spontaneous nucleation. Seeds can grow into larger crystals in the metastable region of the solubility curve, which is a region of lower, relative supersaturation. One can also streak seed from phase separation or amorphous material as a diagnostic to confirm whether the material is crystalline.
The Seeding Tool is a 1 cm natural fiber attached to a stainless steel pin and plastic handle. The Seeding Tool is supplied with a cover to protect the fiber and when the cover is placed on the back side of the Seeding Tool, it makes an excellent handle.
1. Seeds to crystals. Terese Bergfors. Journal of Structrual Biology 142 (2003) 66-76.
2. Applications of the streak seeding technique in protein crystallization. Stura and Wilson. Journal of Crystal Growth, 110 (1991) 270-282. 110 (1991) 270-282.
3. Applications of the streak seeding technique in protein crystallization. Stura and Wilson. Journal of CrystaL Growth, 110 (1991) 270-282.
4. Crystallization of pig mitochondrial aspartate aminotransferase by seeding with crystals of the chicken mitochondrial isoenzyme. Eichele G, Ford GC, Jansonius JN. J Mol Biol. 1979 Dec 5;135(2):513-6. PubMed PMID: 537086.