How should I propagate pQE expression plasmids?
FAQ ID -58

QIAexpress pQE vectors and constructs can be maintained in any E. coli strain that is ampicillin-sensitive and carries the pREP4 repressor plasmid, or harbors the lacIq gene on the F-factor episome.

M15 and SG13009 E. coli host strains carry lacI on the plasmid pREP4, while XL1-Blue or the JM series contain an episomal copy of lacIq.

LacIq is a mutation of lacI that produces very high levels of the lac repressor. Initial cloning and propagation using XL1-Blue is recommended because plasmid preparations derived from QIAexpress host strains will also contain pREP4 DNA, which could make clone analysis more difficult.

Alternatively, the pQE-80L series of expression vectors which encodes a lacIq repression module, allows use of any E. coli host strain.