Carbenicillin disodium, USP packaged and labeled.

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  • Description

    Carbenicillin disodium, USP is a carboxypenicillin antibiotic and is routinely used in microbiology and plant biology as a selection agent to isolate resistant E. coli and transformed plants, respectively.

    Carbenicillin disodium, USP meets USP specifications.

    For more carbenicillin products, click here.

    Mechanism of Action

    Carbenicillin interferes with PBP (penicillin binding protein) activity involved in the final phase of peptidoglycan synthesis. PBP’s are enzymes which catalyze a pentaglycine crosslink between alanine and lysine residues providing additional strength to the cell wall. Without a pentaglycine crosslink, the integrity of the cell wall is severely compromised and ultimately leads to cell lysis and death. Resistance to β-lactams is commonly due to cells containing plasmid encoded β-lactamases.


    The activity of carbenicillin is limited to primarily gram negative bacteria including Pseudomonas aeruginosa and common enteric bacteria.

    • Microbiology Applications

      Carbenicillin disodium is often used to select for cells that have been transformed with a plasmid containing the ampR gene which confers resistance to ampicillin and carbenicillin. Carbenicillin disodium can be substituted for ampicillin sodium for better stability and to avoid formation of satellite colonies.

      Carbenicillin disodium is a preferred alternative to ampicillin due to its increased stability in the presence of heat and low pH environments. Substituting carbenicillin disodium for ampicillin also reduces the risk of satellite colonies appearing on growth media during extended periods of incubation.

    • Plant Biology Applications

      Carbenicillin disodium, USP is routinely used in Agrobacterium mediated transformation protocols to select for resistant agrobacterium and transformed plants. Carbenicillin disodium demonstrates low toxicity to plant tissues.

      Hada et al. used carbenicillin from TOKU-E to select for resistant plants transformed with the thaumatin gene. "Overexpression of thaumatin gene confers enhanced resistance to Alternaria brassicaeand tolerance to salinity and drought in transgenic Brassica juncea."

    • References

      Guzmán, Flavio, MD. "Beta Lactams Antibiotics (penicillins and Cephalosporins) Mechanism of Action.” Medical Pharmacology. Pharmacology Corner, 29 Nov. 2008. Web. 21 Aug. 2012.

      Pitout JD, Sanders CC, Sanders WE Jr. Antimicrobial resistance with focus on beta-lactam resistance in gram-negative bacilli. Am J Med 1997; 103:51.

      E. Bourhis, S. G. Hymowitz and A. G. Cochran 2007. The mitotic regulator Survivin binds as a monomer to its functional interactor Borealin

      Matsuda N., Isuzugawa K., Gao M., Takshina T. and Nishimura, K. Development of Agrobacterium-mediated transformation system in pear cultivars with low-regeneration Frequency. Hortscience, Vol. 39(4), July 2004



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    For in vitro research use only. Not suitable for human or animal consumption. For MSDSs not available online, please email a request to [email protected]

  • CAS Number4800-94-6
    Molecular FormulaC17H16N2Na2O6S
    Molecular Weight422.36 g/mol
    AppearanceWhite or off-white powder
    Water Content (Karl Fisher)≤6.0%
    Potency (on a dry basis)≥770 µg/mg
    Storage Conditions-20°C
    IdentificationPasses test