UNIT 7.30 Estimation of Relative Nuclear DNA Content in Dehydrated Plant Tissues by Flow Cytometry

  1. Jan Suda,
  2. Pavel Trávníček

Published Online: 1 NOV 2006

DOI: 10.1002/0471142956.cy0730s38

Current Protocols in Cytometry

Current Protocols in Cytometry

How to Cite

Suda, J. and Trávníček, P. 2006. Estimation of Relative Nuclear DNA Content in Dehydrated Plant Tissues by Flow Cytometry. Current Protocols in Cytometry. 38:7.30:7.30.1–7.30.14.

Author Information

  1. Charles University in Prague and Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic, Prague, Czech Republic

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 1 NOV 2006
  2. Published Print: OCT 2006


The power of flow cytometry in field plant research may be greatly enhanced by analysis of nonfresh tissues. Previous attempts to use chemical fixatives, however, received only little attention because of protocol complexity and limited time, after which successful assays were achieved. This unit describes simple and rapid procedures for relative nuclear DNA content estimation in dehydrated tissues of vascular plants by DAPI flow cytometry. Histograms with reasonable resolution can be obtained in several-year-old specimens. The approach here is particularly suitable for reliable determination of DNA ploidy level, although detection of small variation in nuclear DNA content is also possible in many cases. Retrospective ploidy inference in silica-dry or herbarium vouchers and simplified transport of plant material from remote areas are among the principal benefits for plant biosystematics, ecology, and population biology.


  • DAPI;
  • DNA ploidy level;
  • desiccation;
  • flow cytometry;
  • genome size;
  • herbarium vouchers;
  • silica-dry material;
  • tissue preservation;
  • vascular plants