Recovery of plant DNA using a reciprocating saw and silica-based columns


Patrick J. Alexander, Fax: 505-646-3665; E-mail:


The time needed for hand grinding and the cost of commercially available extraction kits remain to be the major limitations in plant DNA extraction for many researchers. We present inexpensive techniques for (i) simultaneously machine grinding large numbers of plant samples for DNA extraction using a commercially available reciprocating saw; and (ii) DNA recovery using silica column-based extractions similar to that used in some commercially available kits. Used together, these allow for the rapid recovery of plant DNA at relatively low cost. Furthermore, these methods appear to be widely applicable within plants with good yields recovered in test extractions across major plant groups (ferns, gymnosperms, monocots and eudicots).