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Molecular plasmid amplification - Liquid preculture vs. overnight culture?? - (Sep/17/2012 )

Some protocols suggest a 4-8 hour preculture to precede the standard 12-16 hour bacteria culture to reach OD0.6. Does anyone know the exact purpose of this preculture and how much does it help with increasing plasmid amplification?

-science noob-

Guarantees you that the culture is alive, avoids the major lag phase you get with inoculating a large volume with tiny amounts, and also gives the bugs some time to express the plasmid before selection starts.