Frequently Asked Questions

Gene Synthesis

What is Gene Synthesis?

Gene Synthesis involves the production of any natural or custom-designed, double stranded, cloned and sequence verified DNA fragment. The DNA fragment might be delivered as a purified plasmid and bacterial stab or as a linear fragment. Since 1999, Blue Heron Biotech has grown to become a pioneer and leader in gene synthesis technology, providing services to worldwide researchers.

Why choose Blue Heron?

Using Blue Heron’s expertise you eliminate errors, risk, and costs that are simply no longer a necessary part of the research process. In general, it makes sense for researchers to utilize their valuable time focusing on their research, especially when pressed to discover new targets at a faster pace.

  • • No more PCR amplifying and fixing mutations or errors to get the gene you need
  • • Avoid the 10% to 30% risk that do-it-yourself PCR methods will not succeed at first
  • • No more settling for a cloned gene without tags, promoters and needed restriction sites
  • • No more relying on random mutagenesis and laborious screening methods to isolate the perfect target.

Instead Blue Heron can:

  • • Synthesize the exact gene you need
  • • Acquire the exact DNA you desire for protein expression
  • • Specify and clone into the exact vector required for specific experiment
  • • Complete multiple experimental paths in parallel using exactly-specified variant libraries

But isn't gene synthesis becoming a ‘commodity’?

Every order Blue Heron receives is unique — hardly a commodity! While there are many gene-synthesis providers of simple genes, there is a risk in receiving only commodity results. When you order from Blue Heron, you get years of experience producing millions of base pairs and the knowledge of which techniques are likely to work and which are not. And, if a problem arises, we know how to solve it using any one of multiple synthesis and assembly technologies and dozens of proprietary techniques. Compared to other synthesis companies that are doing little more than attempting the same PCR techniques you can try on your own, Blue Heron delivers the custom designed gene you ordered and, more importantly, that you need.

My Gene Synthesis Provider

What’s the difference between Blue Heron and other synthesis companies?

The Blue Heron advantage is all about experience, technology, know-how and personal service. For almost two decades, we have produced tens of millions of error-free base pairs of DNA for thousands of customers. Our proprietary technologies allow nearly any sequence to be delivered successfully. Our advanced software looks for a broad set of sequence “motifs” known to make synthesis more difficult, and applies proprietary techniques to assure production proceeds smoothly on time and within budget. When Blue Heron quotes a project, we deliver what no other company can provide — the assurance your project will proceed as quoted. Blue Heron is the clear leader in synthesis technology and is the first choice for projects involving unusually long or difficult sequences.

Can I speak directly to people who know what they're talking about?

At every stage of the process — from setting up your account, to submitting difficult or complex orders, to providing expert guidance, to keeping you updated on progress and delivering your order quickly and accurately — we are more than a vendor, we are your gene synthesis partner. That means being available for you, responding quickly to your questions within 24 hours, providing you access to the brightest minds in gene synthesis, and keeping you informed about the progress of your orders. We will work hard to earn your trust as we have earned the trust of thousands of researchers worldwide by not only delivering genes, but by delivering a complete, trusted, gene synthesis service that provides what you need to achieve your research objectives.

Blue Heron Bio

What is GeneMaker®?

Developed initially in 1999, GeneMaker is Blue Heron’s multi-technology platform for high-throughput, automated production of synthesized genes. The platform has been expanded with new technologies to meet the growing demands of the research community. These technologies allow for not only simple and short sequences, but also sequences that are complex, containing GC-rich regions, large repeats and hairpins.

Can Blue Heron synthesize any sequence?

If a sequence can be produced – both synthesized and propagated – then Blue Heron can produce it. No other synthesis company can make that claim for the simple reason that Blue Heron is the company other synthesis companies call when they cannot complete an order! Very rarely, a sequence simply cannot be produced. How rare is this? In almost two decades and tens of thousands of sequences, only handful of orders have proven impossible to complete. Blue Heron has a far greater depth of technology and know-how for working with difficult genes than any other vendor. That is why even our competitors refer to Blue Heron as the “Gold Standard” of gene synthesis.

What’s the maximum length gene that Blue Heron can synthesize?

Blue Heron has delivered a gene of over 52kb and regularly delivers complex sequences that are great in length.

For further assistance, please contact Customer Service Representative at 425-368-5000 or via email.

What’s Blue Heron’s privacy policy?

Please refer to Terms and Conditions for details.

Ordering Process, Options, and Deliverables

How do I place an online gene synthesis order?

To place an order or to receive an automatic quote, you first set up an account . When your account is set up, you will be provided with a private, secure web site to request quotes, use codon optimization tools, place orders and receive sequencing results from your orders.

For a manual quote or further assistance, please contact Customer Service Representative for assistance at 425-368-5000 or via email

What standard vectors does Blue Heron use?

Our standard vectors include:

  • Blue Heron Bio pUCminusMCS, which lacks a multiple cloning site (included with standard synthesis)
  • Blue Heron Bio pUC, a pUC119 derivative containing a multiple cloning site (included with standard synthesis)

For further assistance, please contact Customer Service Representative for assistance at 425-368-5000 or via email

Are custom genes delivered as a linear fragment or in a vector?

Blue Heron customers have the option of having a gene delivered as a sequence-verified cloned product, a linearized product or as a linear fragment. These types of specifications are defined during the ordering process.

For further assistance, please contact Customer Service Representative for assistance at 425-368-5000 or via email

Can I get my gene in a custom vector? Can I supply the vector?

Yes. Blue Heron can clone into any vectors supplied by you. You can set up your vector in your online account by providing the vector details and sending us 10ug aliquot of vector DNA. Due to third party cloning licenses, we are required to have our customers supply us with commercially available vectors including pET vectors. Once we receive an aliquot of the cloning vector, it will be stored for any of your future custom cloning projects.  Additional fees apply.

What is the turnaround time for gene synthesis?

Delivery times for gene synthesis projects depend on the length, complexity and cloning vector requested for your project. For non-complex genes delivery times are between 1.5 weeks and four weeks, although genes can sometimes delivered in as little as seven days! Blue Heron also offers a Rush Delivery Service that may be a better choice when time is critical, call or email for details.

With any biological processes, uncontrolled circumstances may occur. The delivery times Blue Heron quotes are “safe” delivery estimates, given our experience delivering tens of millions of base pairs of DNA. Please contact a Customer Service Representative regarding your specific project requirements and timeline.

Can I get my gene codon optimized? Is there an additional fee for this service?

Blue Heron offers two types of output at no additional charge- Codon Optimization and Expression Optimization. Each type of optimized sequence is based on your specific expression requirements and the results are posted automatically to your online account for your review and ordering. See more details here.

Can I get extra DNA with my order?

Yes.  You can request 100ug, 500ug and 1mg while ordering online.  Larger amount of transfection grade DNA may be made by special request.  Please contact Customer Service Representative for assistance.

Have another question?

Please call Customer Service at
888-368-5923 (US Only) or
425-368-5000. A synthesis specialist will get you an answer within 24 hours.