Successful amplification of rice chloroplast microsatellites from century-old grass samples from the Park Grass Experiment

Biss, Pamela; Freeland, Joanna; Silvertown, Jonathan; McConway, Kevin and Lutman, Peter (2003). Successful amplification of rice chloroplast microsatellites from century-old grass samples from the Park Grass Experiment. Plant Molecular Biology Reporter, 21(3) pp. 249–257.

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Abstract

We report the successful amplification of microsatellite markers for the chloroplast genome from century-old samples of 2 grasses growing in the Park Grass Experiment (PGE): Anthoxanthum ordoratum and Festuca rubra. This opens the possibility of establishing a long-term genetic time series for the PGE, which began in 1856 and is believed to be the oldest ecological experiment in existence. Although the plant samples used were not originally prepared or stored with molecular analysis in mind, the hexadecyltrimethylammonium bromide (CTAB) method of DNA extraction was successfully used. Obtained DNA was degraded but could be amplified by means of PCR. It produced bands around the expected size for chloroplast microsatellite primers derived from rice. When sequenced, bands showed good homology with sequences from rice chloroplast genomes listed in GenBank (accession No X15901).

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