Comparative Review of Orbigen, NIH Mammalian Gene Collection and Origene Websites.

Title: Orbigen, Mammalian Gene Collection-NIH,


Date Reviewed: May 20,2002

Description and strengths: Orbigen is a company website featuring its products and services, some of them quite novel indeed. For instance,they will custom synthesize fluorescently labeled ds RNAi oligonucleotides. They also offer more than 14,000 ready to use full-length mouse cDNA clones, which can be tagged and sub-cloned in to an appropriate vector for $499/gene. Furthermore, they can also produce polyclonal or monoclonal antibodies against your gene product. It also flaunts a nice collection of protocols and RNAi links.

Orbigen has its mouse Genes very well organized with the corresponding NCBI entry for the cDNA, locuslink and Unigene links. It has a fairly comprehensive protocol and RNAi section. Fluorescently labeled Rnai is a novel product being offered by them. Bookmarks section pretty good too.

In comparison, the MGC-NIH provides a complete set of full-length (open reading frame) sequences and cDNA clones of expressed genes for human and mouse. These include 10802 distinct human clone and 8144 distinct genes and 6336 distinct mouse clones and 5433 distinct genes. The information about the vector maps and protocols is described. The information about the clones and their NIH genbank, locus link entries etc are very well organized.

OriGene has not only the full-length clones of cDNAs that correspond to NM sequences the mRNA sequences annotated by NCBI, but also their cDNA libraries contain full-length clones that match the predicted genes identified by XM accession numbers in RefSeq, thus allowing research on predicted genes. It offers three search options to search by nucleotide sequence (via BLAST), by accession number and by domain.


Orbigen has bothersome frames and frequent error messages.

To buy a clone from MGC, one needs to link up to ATCC. The ATCC site itself is not very user-friendly, one has to navigate through a sea of information and product categories to finally find the clones.

One needs to register at Origene to even look at the clones that are available. The clones available at Origene are restricted to those with accession numbers beginning with XM or NM and from among those to they may not have the clone you are looking for. The collection of available clones is not  very comprehensive.

Comprehensiveness: MGC-NIH and Origene both have about the same number of human cDNA clones. Orbigen has no human clones only mouse, but very comprehensive set of mouse clones (>14,000)


For orbigen, I came up with a last updated date of 09/30/01 (lacking in timeliness)

MGC-NIH was updated last on May 20, 2002 (excellent timeliness)

Origene seems good in terms of timeliness  ( March 2002)

Ease of Use:

Orbigen: Medium

MGC-NIH: Medium

Origene: Medium


Orbigen: Medium

MGC-NIH: Medium

Origene: Medium

Similar or Related Sites:

Overall Evaluation:

Orbigen: 4

MGC-NIH: 4.5

Origene: 4

Reviewer: Shveta Taparia