Navigation Links
Spinal tap -- using cactus spines to isolate DNA
Date:3/5/2013

Isolation of DNA from some organisms is a routine procedure. For example, you can buy a kit at your local pharmacy or grocery store that allows you to swab the inside of your cheek and send the sample for DNA sequencing. However, for other organisms, DNA extraction is much more problematic. Researchers at Desert Botanical Garden in Phoenix, Arizona, have developed a novel procedure that greatly simplifies genomic DNA isolation from cactus tissue.

For members of the family Cactaceae, isolation of genetic material can be difficult due to the presence of polysaccharide-based mucilage content and other secondary compounds. Although important for water storage, these compounds necessitate the use of toxic chemicals and numerous modifications to protocols for DNA extraction. Lead author Shannon D. Fehlberg and colleagues describe a novel method for isolation of DNA using cactus spines in the March issue of Applications in Plant Sciences (available for free viewing at http://www.bioone.org/doi/pdf/10.3732/apps.1200013).

"I had worked with getting DNA out of cactus in the past where you use pieces of the epidermis, but it was messy and difficult to sample. It was also difficult to deal with in the lab because of the mucilage," says Fehlberg. "Now you can snip a spine and, while you have to grind the spine up, it is easy to collect and easy to store and you can follow the manufacturer's protocols for extractionsimplifying both the field and genetic work."

Considered to be modified leaves, spines contain significantly less mucilage content compared to other tissues commonly used for sampling in Cactaceae. Additionally, removal of cactus spines is less invasive than sampling epidermal tissue, which can damage plants and expose the underlying soft tissue to pathogens.

"Although you can cut a fairly small sample of epidermal tissue, this can be problematic if you are working with living collections or endangered species. Not only is it much easier to clip a spine, it is also more aesthetic and less harmful," comments Fehlberg.

As the cost of DNA sequencing has dramatically decreased, its use has grown exponentially. Because it allows the comparison of individuals within and between populations, DNA sequencing has played an important role in understanding genetic diversity. "For example, in the plant species I'm studying, the species boundaries are not clear," says Fehlberg. "Genetics is important for determining what can be considered a cohesive group. "

Knowledge of genetic variation among populations will provide insight to the persistence of a species and inform conservation efforts. Fehlberg notes, "Genetics is helpful in determining how similar populations are to one another and how connected they are. We're able to use both genetics and biological information to determine which populations are most unique and which are most threatened."


'/>"/>

Contact: Beth Parada
apps@botany.org
American Journal of Botany
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Therapies for spinal cord injury: On the cutting edge of clinical translation
2. Low oxygen levels may decrease life-saving protein in spinal muscular atrophy
3. New studies show spinal cord injury and ALS respond to cell transplantation
4. Neuroprotective dietary supplements for chronic spinal cord injury
5. Neural stem cell transplants for spinal cord injury maximized by combined, complimentary therapies
6. Adding to the list of disease-causing proteins in brain disorders
7. An atlas of the human heart is drawn using statistics
8. Research discovers gene mutation causing rare eye disease
9. Using millions of gigs of data to improve human health
10. A dual look at photosystem II using the worlds most powerful X-ray laser
11. Nature Methods study: Using light to control cell clustering
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:2/8/2017)... 2017 About Voice Recognition Biometrics Voice recognition ... against a stored voiceprint template. Acoustic features of ... tone are compared to distinguish between individual voices. ... most PCs already have a microphone and can ... biometrics are most likely to be deployed in ...
(Date:2/8/2017)... Report Highlights ... The global synthetic-biology market reached nearly $3.9 billion in ... a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 24.0% through 2021. ... for synthetic biology. - Analyses of global market trends, with ... annual growth rates (CAGRs) through 2021. - Coverage of core ...
(Date:2/8/2017)... Report Highlights The global biosurgery ... billion in 2016 at a compound annual growth rate ... Includes - An overview of the global market for ... from 2015 and 2016, and projections of compound annual ... market on the basis of product type, source, application, ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:2/23/2017)... Feb. 23, 2017  MIODx announced today that ... key immunotherapy technologies from the University of California, ... method to monitor a patient for response to ... CTLA-4.  The second license extends the technology with ... likely to have an immune-related adverse event (IRAE) ...
(Date:2/23/2017)... 23, 2017  Seattle,s upscale Capitol Hill neighborhood, with its swanky ... for a head lice treatment salon to set up shop. ... restaurant and a French bistro on E Madison Ave, and ... just any old lice clinic, we pride ourselves on being ... release some of the stigma associated with lice. Everyone can ...
(Date:2/23/2017)... ... February 23, 2017 , ... Brain Sentinel, ... begin marketing the SPEAC® System, the Brain Sentinel® Seizure Monitoring and Alerting System. ... healthcare facilities during periods of rest. A lightweight, non-invasive monitor is placed on ...
(Date:2/23/2017)... ... February 23, 2017 , ... ... annual Inventors Recognition Reception at Purdue Research Park of West Lafayette, ... in recognition of outstanding contributions to, and success with, commercializing discoveries from Purdue ...
Breaking Biology Technology: