DCode™ Universal Mutation Detection System


DCode Systems

The search for unknown mutations in genomic DNA is important for studying the genetic basis of diseases and disorders, including cancer. Additionally, examining DNA polymorphisms is useful for ecological and evolutionary studies of terrestrial, marine, and microbial organisms, with applications ranging from species identification to delineation of population structure to monitoring genetic diversity.

The DCode universal mutation detection system can scan for single-base changes by any of the following electrophoretic techniques:

  • Single-stranded conformation polymorphism (SSCP)
  • Denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE)
  • Constant denaturing gel electrophoresis (CDGE)
  • Temporal temperature gradient gel electrophoresis (TTGE)

Flexible and powerful, the DCode system is the one electrophoresis system that can perform any combination of these techniques. At the center of the system is the temperature control module (which includes a microprocessor-controlled heater, a buffer-recirculating pump, and a stirrer). For techniques requiring accurate temperature control, such as SSCP and TTGE, the gels are immersed in the buffer, and temperatures are regulated between 5° and 70°C. Any run temperature below ambient can be achieved with the cooling tank used in conjunction with an external laboratory chiller. The DCode system can run 64 samples in as little as 2 hours — a major consideration when you're screening DNA for sequence variations.

You can configure your DCode system to grow as your needs grow. Each system includes a vertical electrophoresis cell and choice of adaptor kits for SSCP, DGGE, and CDGE, as well as for TTGE, a technique codeveloped by Bio-Rad. TTGE has all the benefits of DGGE and CDGE without chemical denaturant gradients.

This flexibility lets you quickly add new research tools without investing in new instrumentation. Systems configured for the primary application can be expanded to perform any combination of methods by supplementing the core system with technique-specific adaptor kits listed on the accessories tab. Product options include the complete DCode system and individual DCode systems for DDGE, CDGE, TTGE, and SSCP.

WinMelt™ Software

Mutations are most reliably detected when the sequence difference occurs in the lowest melting-temperature domain of the DNA of interest. In addition, optimal resolution is attained only when the molecules do not completely denature. The addition of a GC clamp onto one end of the DNA via PCR ensures that the region screened is in a lower melting-temperature domain, and that the DNA will remain partially double stranded. This enhances both detection and resolution. Windows-based WinMelt software predicts the melting profile of any DNA sequence up to 3,200 bases. Placement of primers and GC clamps can be optimized by analysis of their effect on the DNA melting profile.

Operation of WinMelt software is simple. The DNA sequence is imported from a text file and the melting profile is computed. The data appear onscreen and can be graphed according to user preference. The sequences and melt data can then be exported for use in other programs. WinMelt software is recommended for all DGGE, CDGE, and TTGE applications.

Electrophoresis and Control Reagents

Bio-Rad electrophoresis reagent kits are customized for each application to ensure the highest-quality buffers and acrylamide. Our control reagents for DGGE, CDGE, TTGE, and SSCP help you quickly master any new techniques.


Technical notes with proven DCode system run conditions are available. To obtain all DCode system application notes, request literature package 1720J. To obtain DCode application notes on microbial diversity studies, request literature package 1720K.

Training Guide

This self-training guide is an interactive CD-ROM that helps you learn about the techniques used to screen mutations using the DCode system. It includes the following:

  • Principles of DGGE, CDGE, TTGE, and SSCP
  • Videos on setting up and using the DCode system
  • WinMelt software tutorial program, DCode application notes, instruction manual, and other literature

To obtain your self-training guide, request catalog #170-9241. The CD-ROM is PC-compatible only.

Note to D GENE™ Users

All of the DCode adaptor kits are compatible with the D GENE apparatus, with the exception of the SSCP adaptor kit. To run gels below room temperature, place the D GENE system in a coldroom or refrigerator equipped with electrical outlets, and use the temperature controller to set the desired run temperature (see bulletin 1935). The basic SSCP adaptor kit is compatible with the D GENE system, but requires use of a coldroom for electrophoresis below room temperature.

DCode Universal Mutation Detection System  
Tank, core, and clamps Tank: molded polycarbonate; core: molded polysulfone; clamps: molded glass-filled polycarbonate
Gradient former Cast acrylic and aluminum
Lid Polycarbonate
Electrodes 0.010" diameter platinum
Electrical leads Flexible, straight
Glass plates 20 x 20 cm (20 cm format inner plate)
Gel sizes 16 x 20 cm (maximum two per run)
Spacers available 0.75, 1.0, 1.5 mm
Combs 16-, 20-, 25-, and 32- (1 mm only) well combs, and 1- well comb (prep comb for perpendicular gradient gels)
Casting stand Casts two 16 x 16 cm, two 16 x 10 cm, two 16 x 20 cm, or four 7.5 x 10 cm gels per setup
Heater and control Temperature control (PID type) ±0.5°C variation within gel area, ±0.5°C actual in the range of 45–70°C
Maximum set temperature 70.5°C
DC voltage/power limit 500 V DC voltage limit; 50 W power limit
Size and Weight   
Dimensions (W x D x H) Lid and tank assembly: 39 x 20 x 42 cm
Weight 16 kg (35.3 lb)
Power Requirements  
AC power requirement AC power input: 120 VAC 47–63 Hz, 5 A slow-blow fuse
(catalog #170-9080/9083/9086/9089/9092/9095/9098/9102)
DC power requirement External DC voltage power supply; power supply must be ground isolated in such a way that DC voltage output floats with respect to ground
Maximum voltage limit 500 V DC
Maximum power limit 50 W
Environmental Requirements  
Storage environment 0–70°C, humidity 0–95% (noncondensing)
Operating environment 0–35°C, humidity 0–95%
Regulatory Meets requirements of IEC 1010-1 and FCC, Class A
Model 475 Gradient Delivery System  
Size and weight 22 x 21 cm (W x H); 2.28 kg (5 lb)
Capacity 50 ml total (25 ml/syringe)
WinMelt™ Software  
System requirements 486 MHz or faster CPU, CD-ROM drive

Account price failed to display. Please try reloading the page. Reload Page

If you are placing an order, you may proceed with your order; the account price will be applied if it is lower than the
list price. If the problem persists, please call customer service at   or send an
email to 

DCode System for DGGE

120 V, universal mutation detection system, for 16 cm gels with one 1 mm prep well, includes comb gasket, 2 sets of clamps, Model 475 gradient former with all parts required to cast gradient gels

List Price:
Your Price:

Communication error

Reload Page

Your Price:   Log in
Quantity:   Add to cart
Add to Hot List   Add to Quote
(Discontinued) DCode System for SSCP

120 V, universal mutation detection system, for 20 cm gels with twenty 0.75 mm wells, includes cooling tank adaptor for use with external cooling bath, control reagents

This product is no longer available. Please contact technical support for more information on replacement product.
Complete DCode System

120 V, PC-compatible, complete universal mutation detection system, includes accessories, WinMelt software, control reagents for DGGE, CDGE, TTGE, and SSCP

List Price:
Your Price:

Communication error

Reload Page

Your Price:   Log in
Quantity:   Add to cart
Add to Hot List   Add to Quote
(Discontinued) DCODE TEMP.CNTRL.MOD,100V


This product is no longer available. Please contact technical support for more information on replacement product.
Number Description Options
4006138 Instruction Manual, WinMelt and MacMelt Software, Rev A Click to download
4100103 Instruction Manual, DCode™ Control Reagent Kit for SSCP Click to download
M1709080 Instruction Manual, DCode Universal Mutation Detection System, Rev D Click to download
5479 DCode System CD: Literature Library, Rev B Click to download
2101 DCode System and Accessories, Rev C Click to download
2100 DCode Universal Mutation Detection Systems, Reagents, and Accessories Ordering Information, Rev E Click to download
2069 DCode Universal Mutation Detection System Brochure, Rev C Click to download [ Add to Cart (Free) ]