Get access
Advertisement

Analysis, purification and quantification of extracellular DNA from aquatic environments

Authors

  • TREVOR J. C. BEEBEE

    Corresponding author
    1. School of Biology, University of Sussex, Brighton, U.K.
      Dr T. J. C. Beebee, School of Biology, University of Sussex, Falmer, Brighton BN1 9QG, U.K.
    Search for more papers by this author

Dr T. J. C. Beebee, School of Biology, University of Sussex, Falmer, Brighton BN1 9QG, U.K.

Abstract

SUMMARY 1. The presence of extracellular DNA, but not RNA, at μg 1−1 concentrations was demonstrated in seawater, river water and in a series of eutrophic lowland ponds.

2. Extracellular DNA in natural waters invariably comprised two major components: one of high molecular weight (>20 kb) derived from viruses, and another of low molecular weight (1–500 bp) and apparently free in solution. Similar species of DNA molecules were produced within 2 weeks in simple laboratory modules.

3. A purification procedure was developed which separated extracellular DNA from other components of dissolved organic matter, and which also separated viral from soluble DNA. Both types of DNA were purified sufficiently to constitute active templates for enzymes used in DNA manipulation.

Get access to the full text of this article

Ancillary