Q: How come one antibody may detect the same target protein in multiple species, while another antibody may not?

Antibodies can be developed to full-length proteins, or to 7-30 amino acid long peptides. Depending on the homology of the linear sequence in the target protein corresponding to the antigen peptide, the resulting antibody will either detect the target protein in multiple species or not. This is often overlooked, and antibodies are purchased and used without this basic antigen sequence confirmation for the protein aimed to be detected. If the homology is poor (less than 70%), the antibody in question may not work for this species. 

Well-conserved proteins, like those involved in photosynthesis, will share quite high sequence identity over multiple species, while other proteins, like transcription factors, will not. Therefore, one antibody developed to a certain amino acid sequence may work well in multiple species, while another may not. A good example of sequence conservation is seen in Agrisera Global Antibody collection, developed to highly conserved peptides, conserved in thousands of species, from higher plants to alage. 

One has to keep in mind, that polyclonal antibodies developed to proteins, will most likely cover a wider species range, compared to antibodies developed to shorter amino acid sequences, found in less conserved parts of a protein. 

Before any antibody is purchased, one should always check if the sequence which it was developed to, is found in the target protein of your species, if the species of interest is not listed on the product information sheet.

If a species from which you aim to detect a given protein is not listed on Agrisera product information sheet, contact us, and we will quickly check predicted reactivity of that antibody. 


Agriseera antibodies with broad species reactivity

 Technical blog

Technical blog