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Scale and yield—Are they the same?

When you order a certain amount of oligo, how much are you going to receive? Review the distinction between the amount of starting material used for synthesis vs the amount of final product recovered.

There is often confusion surrounding the meanings of "synthesis scale" and "synthesis yield" in custom oligonucleotide manufacturing.

What is synthesis scale?

Synthesis scale refers to the amount of starting material used to synthesize your oligonucleotide. lt is solely of the 3'‑most nucleotide of a sequence attached to a solid support and housed within the column used to make the oligonucleotide.

Oligonucleotide synthesis is typically conducted in columns with a solid support between filters. In these columns, the 3'‑most nucleotide of the custom oligo sequence is attached to their solid supports. The oligo synthesis then proceeds from the 3’ to the 5’ end using nucleoside phosphoramidite monomers. Learn more about the phosphoramidite monomers and the method used to generate your custom oligos here.

Several variables can impact how much of an oligo is synthesized using this method. For instance, coupling efficiency refers to the rate at which the next phosphoramidite monomer reacts with the free 5’-OH of the solid-support-linked nucleoside.

What is synthesis yield?

Synthesis yield, on the other hand, refers to the amount of final product recovered after all the synthesis and purification steps associated with the oligonucleotide have been completed. As no chemical reaction, even the coupling of simple DNA bases, is 100% efficient, the final deliverable amount of oligonucleotide is never equal to the starting amount for synthesis. Modifications, secondary structures, and purification services further affect the final delivery amount (yield).

IDT offers guaranteed yields based on all of these factors that define the minimum amount of oligonucleotide you will receive for a given construct. Once you have selected the synthesis scale, modifications, and purification services, check your shopping cart for the IDT minimum yield guarantee for that oligonucleotide order.

For research use only. Not for use in diagnostic procedures. Unless otherwise agreed to in writing, IDT does not intend these products to be used in clinical applications and does not warrant their fitness or suitability for any clinical diagnostic use. Purchaser is solely responsible for all decisions regarding the use of these products and any associated regulatory or legal obligations. RUO22-1598_001

Published Jan 18, 2013
Revised/updated Nov 23, 2023