OmniLog Phenotype Microarray System

As part of the Wellcome Trust ISSF award (, the Biosciences department operates a Biolog OmniLog phenotype microarray system. The OmniLog PM system can simultaneously evaluate thousands of phenotypes in microbial cell-based assays, with the ability to incubate fifty 96-well microplates at any one time. The system is primarily used for determining function of gene knockouts/mutants.

Example projects which have used the OmniLog system include testing the function of unidentified nitrogen compound-degrading enzymes and evaluating the substrates for heterologously-expressed fungal transporters in Saccharomyces cerevisiae (budding yeast).

The Biolog OmniLog phenotype microarray (PM) system is the next step in the “-omics” revolution, enabling phenomics – understanding phenotypic characteristics – to complement genomic and proteomic approaches. The OmniLog PM system can evaluate thousands of phenotypes in microbial cell-based assays allowing incubation and monitoring of up to 50 microplates at any one time. Each Phenotype Microarray MicroPlate (See ‘Plates’ section below) contains 96 different compounds for testing metabolic activity and chemical sensitivity of different microbes. This allows for phenotype detection, or for optimisation of growth conditions, in the organism of interest.

Currently, Biolog offer the following plates:

PM 1-10

Carbon-, nitrogen-, phosphorus- or sulphur- containing compounds; peptide or nutrient supplements; osmolytes; pH. These plates allow the screening of yeast/bacterial strains on predicted compounds of interest or de novo phenotype identification.

PM 11-20

Bacterial chemical sensitivity assays.

PM 21-25

Yeast and filamentous fungi sensitivity assays.

PM 26-30

Currently under development

For more details on MicroPlate compositions, please visit the Biolog website (

University of Exeter researchers

The current costings can be obtained by emailing David Milner. These will include the cost of each MicroPlate and related consumables. Staff costs should be included on any grant application requiring the use of the OmniLog system.

Acknowledging the service

If you have used data produced by the OmniLog facility, please acknowledge the following generous support:

OmniLog research facility at the University of Exeter; Wellcome Trust Institutional Strategic Support Award (WT105618MA).

The OmniLog PM System is offered on a ‘per-plate’ costing (see ‘Costs’ section above).

To book an OmniLog run, please click here to complete the booking form. Please be aware that the system is a research-based facility and, as such, users will be expected to undertake subsequent analysis after data collection. We will provide basic Biolog software analyses and guidance on the options for subsequent analysis.