The Create Plate Map tool allows the user to create one or more new plate maps. A plate map defines a mapping between materials and the wells of a plate. In other words, a plate map specifies which material is held in which well of a plate. The user selects the plate map format, the materials to be held in the plate map, and the distribution of those materials across the plate map. 

Input: None

Output: New plate map(s)

Prerequisites: 

  • (required) The materials must exist in a materials library (Materials > DNA Materials, Microbial Materials, or Protein Materials)
  • If the materials do not exist yet, use the header to go to Materials > DNA Materials, Microbial Materials, or Protein Materials > New Material or Upload. 

You can find the Create Plate Map tool under Tools > Tool Library. Click on ‘Launch Tool’ to start using the tool. 

The tool will walk you through several steps to generate one or more plate maps. You need to complete each step before proceeding to the next. After completing a step, the completed step mark (circle) will turn green with a check mark. You can always use the ‘previous’ button to go back to previous steps. 

1. Plate Map Settings: This step requires you to specify a plate format and the source materials 

1a. Select Plate Format: Select a plate format for the outputted plate map. The default format 96 Well Plate. 

1b. Specify Source Materials: Select materials to be held in the plate map. Check the checkboxes next to the materials that you want to select and click ‘Select Materials’. 

You will be able to view the selected materials in a scrollable table. If you want to change the materials, click ‘Change Inventory Materials’. 

If you are satisfied with the selection, click ‘Next’ to go to the next step. 

2. Plate Map Configuration: This step allows you to name your plate map group and configure one or more plate maps. 

2a. Name Plate Map Group: Give your plate map group a descriptive name. 

2b. Distribute Materials: Drag the selected materials from the list on the left of the screen and drop them onto the wells of the plate on the right of the screen. 

Click on the dotted lines to the left of a material name in the list and drag the material to a specific well of the plate map. As shown as an example in the image above, ‘Sample1’ was assigned to well B2 of the plate for ‘Plate Map 1’. To drag and drop multiple materials, follow the following steps:

  • Click on a material and command-click or shift-click (an)other material(s) to highlight the selected materials. 
  • Select a ‘Fill Direction’ from the drop-down menu (Right, Left, Up and Down)

Right direction: the tool fills the wells with selected materials in the order of appearance in the selection list and to right of the chosen well on which the materials are dropped. In the example below, Sample2, Sample3, and Sample4 are selected and dragged to well B11 with the ‘Right’ fill direction. The tool automatically fill wells B12 and C1 with Sample3 and Sample4 

Left direction: the tool fills the wells with selected materials in the order of appearance in the selection list and to the left of the chosen well on which the materials are dropped. In the example below, samples Sample5-9 are selected and dragged to well D7 with the ‘Left’ fill direction. The tool automatically left-fill wells D7 to D3 with samples Sample5-9 respectively. 

Up direction: the tool fills the wells with selected materials in the order of appearance in the selection list and upward of the chosen well on which the materials are dropped. In the example below, samples Sample10-19 are selected and dragged to well A8. The tool assigns Sample10 to well A8. Because there is no row above row A, the next sample is assigned to well H9, and other samples are assigned to wells upward from well H9. 

Down direction: the tool fills the wells with selected materials in the order of appearance in the selection list and downward of the chosen well on which the materials are dropped. In the example below, samples Sample19-25 are selected and dragged to well A10. The tool assigns Sample19 to well A10 and next materials are assigned to wells downward from A10. 

If you want to unassign all materials on a plate map, click ‘Clear Plate’. Alternatively, you can delete the mapping of a particular well by right-clicking that well and click ‘Delete’. 

To add another plate map to the group, click on the green (+) button and follow instructions above to assign materials to the wells. To remove a plate map, click on the red trash can icon next to that plate map. Note that the trash icon is greyed out when there is only one plate map group. 

When satisfied with the plate map configuration, click ‘Create Plate Map(s)’

To view the plate map group that you have created, click on ‘Plate Map Group’. You can click on the → arrow to scroll through other plate maps in the group. 

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