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Extraction and amplification of nuclear DNA from herbarium specimens of emmer wheat: a method for assessing DNA preservation by maximum amplicon length recovery

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Abstract:

In this paper we present a simple and reliable method for the extraction of nuclear DNA from grains of herbarium specimens of emmer wheat, along with a method to determine the level of DNA preservation with a set of PCR primers based on the nuclear high-molecular-weight glutenin gene. The method gave PCR products of between 80 and 1,030 bp. PCR products from each set of amplification reactions were cloned and sequenced in order to confirm their identity. We have found excellent levels of DNA preservation in grain between 49 and 107 years old, consistently amplifying products of at least 350 bp.

Keywords: ANCIENT DNA; DNA PRESERVATION; HERBARIUM SPECIMENS; HMW GLUTENIN; PCR; TRITICUM TURGIDUM SUBSP. DICOCCUM

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: McDonald Institute for Archaeological Research, University of Cambridge, Downing Street, Cambridge CB2 3ER, U.K. 2: Department of Biochemistry, University of Cambridge, Tennis Court Road, Cambridge CB2 1QW, U.K. 3: Department of Archaeology, University of Cambridge, Downing Street, Cambridge CB2 3DZ, U.K.

Publication date: 2008-02-01

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