MARS Shipping Guide

This shipping protocol is for sending raw samples, DNA, and amplicons to MARS for processing. If you have any questions or concerns please contact us before shipping your samples!


Raw Sample Submission

Raw samples must be shipped in MARS’ supplied 2mL barcoded tubes.

To obtain 2mL barcoded tubes, call (860)-486-1417 or contact us .

  1. Place sample in the 2mL barcoded tubes with the raw sample. We extract 0.25g of sample, please don’t send us any more than 0.5g of sample (depending on the density of the sample, this could be up to half of the tube). Make sure that the sample tubes have been properly closed.MaxSampleSubmissionCropped
    1. For small fecal pellets (such as mouse), 2-3 pellets are sufficient.
    2. For medium fecal pellets (such as rat), 1-2 pellets are sufficient.
    3. For large fecal pellets (such as rabbit), 0.5-1 pellets are sufficient.
    4. For liquid/pipettable samples, submit no more than 500μL.
    5. As a general rule-of-thumb, do not submit all of the sample that you have!
  2. Record the sample barcode found on the bottom (or side) of the tube and fill this into the section under Sample Barcode (Column B) for the corresponding sample.Tube Barcode Cropped
  3. If MARS sent a barcode tube rack, place the barcoded tubes into the rack once the sample has been loaded.Tube Rack
    1. If MARS sent loose barcoded tubes, place the tubes in a sealable bag once the sample has been loaded.

DNA and Amplicon Submission

DNA and Amplicons must be shipped in MARS’ supplied 1mL barcoded tubes or a 96-well plate.

We use Eppendorf twin.tec® PCR Plate 96 (Cat. No. 951020401), as it works well with our epMotion.

If you choose to use another 96-well plate, we ask you to send us the plate information (brand and catalog number) so that we can obtain the labware necessary to use with our epMotion.
To obtain 1mL barcoded tubes, call (860)-486-6264 or contact us .

  1. Place a foil seal securely on top of the plate (ThermoFisher Adhesive PCR Plate Foils, Cat. No. AB0626).Plate Seal
  2. Use a roller with a moderate amount of force to adhere the seal to the plate. Make sure to use the roller in opposite directions.Sealed Plate with Roller
    1. Alternatively, you can also use the backside of a sharpie marker to seal the wells. Press down from one end of the plate to the other, making sure to press each well as well as in-between adjacent wells.Marker Sealed Plate
  3. Ensure that the seal is secure by checking for air bubbles and wells that are not fully sealed.
  4. Cut two pieces of cardboard to a size slightly larger than the plate. This will prevent the wells from being punctured through transit.Cardboard for plate
  5. Place the cardboard on the top and bottom of the plate and tape them together.Taped Up Plate
  6. Place each plate in a separate seal-able bag to prevent contamination if a plate does leak.

Packing Directions

  1. All submissions should be shipped on dry ice in a styrofoam container. Make sure to have excess dry ice as samples can get stuck in transit longer than anticipated.
  2. Place samples in dry ice. Fill the excess space between the dry ice and the lid with paper or packing materials to minimize movement within the styrofoam.
    1. Ship samples at the beginning of the week (Monday or Tuesday) and do not ship over a US holiday weekend.
  3. Tape around the edge of styrofoam to secure the lid.
  4. Place the styrofoam container into a larger shipping box. Pack the box as needed with packing materials to secure the styrofoam container within the box.
  5. Seal the cardboard box with tape.

Shipping guide based on Earth Microbiome Project Shipping Guide.