Timothy Trott

Document Type

Non-Art Poster

Publication Date

Winter 2019


In 2011, of the 8.7 million species of lif suspected to populate the globe only 1.2 million had been catalogued and it was estimated that 1,200 years would pass before the remainder were processed, allowing the possibility that some species would go extinct before they were even discovered (Mora, Tittensor, Adl, Simpson, & Worm, 2011). DNA barcoding may provide an answer to this problem. According to Hebert and Gregory, “DNA barcoding will accelerate the pace of species discovery by allowing taxonomists to rapidly sort specimens... by highlighting divergent taxa that may represent new species… and by making species identifications more easily available” (2005). Barcoding has been used to chart the relationships between animals and plants, track endangered plant species, trace the origin of wood, and update taxonomic classification (Schroeder et al., 2016; Simeone, Roberta, Alessio, Federico, & Bartolomeo, 2013). Unfortunately one of the essential steps for barcoding, DNA extraction, can experience contamination which impairs downstream DNA utility (Peist et al., 2001). In a recent study regarding DNA barcoding in Quercus species, the DNA extract did not perform adequately in PCR or DNA sequencing (McKenzie and Trott 2017). Johnson theorized that polyphenol contamination was the likely cause of the malperformance. In this experiment, we seek to troubleshoot problems found in Johnson and Trott’s (2017) study. We evaluated four commercially available plant specific DNA preparation mini-spin column kits to determine which produced the best PCR-gel electrophoresis results (correct DNA length of single-band PCR product) and the greatest number of sequences with electropherograms that had minimally overlapping signals and low indistinguishable nucleotide (N) instances. The kit which fit this criteria was selected as the most efficient DNA preparation Kit for extracting dna from Quercus falcata, palustris, and rubra species.