The frequency at which libraries are sampled is still the rate-limiting step in high-throughput experimentation. We have developed a method for space- and time-efficient processing of very large sample numbers (10^7 per batch) and using nanoliter reactors (nLRs) as carriers. The protocol relies on gas-formation of nLR embedded microbes as a marker and buoyancy as readout. We use the method for both screening and selection protocols of recombinant microbes, generated by metabolic engineering. The system allows for phenotypic characterization and isolation of putative hits in a single operation, enabling large sampling rates exceeding 10^5 Hz (or 10^9 samples per day).
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