• Question: What extraction methods do you use?

    Asked by student on 10 Jun 2022.
    • Photo: Michelle Grey

      Michelle Grey answered on 10 Jun 2022:

      Hi! We use several different methods for extracting DNA, RNA, and proteins. It really depends on the what we are working with and what we need for answering the question we have. For example, we can have a plant from the wild and the same species of plant grown in agriculture. We might want to see the differences their environments have had on them over the years (sometimes 100’s of years). This would require what we call a long-read sequence. I would need to extract DNA and while doing this I would need to be extra careful during the procedure to try and get long strands of DNA, without breaking them (we call that shearing them). When we have the DNA, which is termed, ‘genomic DNA’, it is then sequenced using a high-tech sequencer which can read these long strands. These sequences can be compared once completed. Some other project might not require the whole sequence, but just a portion of it. This would mean I could extract the DNA or RNA to look for different portions or segments of the sequence. I wouldn’t need to worry about the length of the strands in these instances. There are kits which would provide an ample amount of DNA specific to the type of tissues you are working with which would be suitable in these types of projects. I hope this answers your question. Basically, there are a lot of choices out there for extractions, you just need to know what you are working with and which of the chemistries will work best with your samples.