If you’ve figured out how to extract high-quality DNA from an elephant, chances are that without too much trouble, you’d be able to do the same from a moose, a mouse or even a meerkat. However, if you’ve figured out how to extract DNA from an Arabidopsis plant, well that might be about all you’ve figured out. That’s because plants have developed something akin to chemical warfare in order to survive a variety of climactic extremes, pathogens, and predators, without the luxury of being mobile. As a result, plants harbor an enormous variety of organic compounds, some with antifungal and antimicrobial properties and some which make them taste bad to herbivores. Other structures are complex networks of polymers that store water and nutrients for both feast and famine.
It’s all good and well for the plants, but many of these substances muck up DNA extractions....Read More