In order to look at the effects of herbarium preservation methods on DNA quality, Hannah Wilson and Mark Hughes took a trip down to our research glasshouses, and brought back armfuls of Begonia collections. They sampled nine of the accessions that we have in cultivation at RBGE.

The return of the foragers, 9th Feb 2018

In order to look at how drying methods affect the DNA, four different methods were used, with the plants squashed between sheets of newspaper, in a drying press:

  • at room temperature (DNA code AN)
  • at elevated temperature (40° C, in the RBGE drying room) (DNA code ND)
  • at elevated temperature (40° C, in the RBGE drying room), with an added alcohol wash (DNA code AD)
  • with a hairdryer (DNA code H).

Preparations for squashing

Pressing Begonia

The hairdryer method

Hannah and Mark also pickled parts of each collection in alcohol (DNA code P), preserved some in RNAlater stabilization solution (DNA code R), and rapidly dried some in silica gel desiccant (DNA code S).

(And if you’re wondering why I’m giving you the DNA codes here, hopefully they will become useful in a subsequent Hybrid capture from degraded DNA Story, when we reveal some of our preliminary data…)

 

Other Hybrid capture from degraded DNA Stories:

Hybrid capture from degraded DNA: choosing Begonia

Hybrid capture from degraded DNA: stockpiling Begonia DNA for protocol testing