Kids, don't do this at home; or...?
Updated: Sep 9
After getting our kelp samples from our industry partners, the next step is to extract the genetic material (DNA in our case) and quantify it. This is usually done with a commercial extraction kit, suitable for the material we are working with. These kits contain different reagents that need to be applied in different ways, following the instructions; just like a cake recipe! Our recipe is the following:
Sample homogenization: we use a machine that blends each sample individually, in order to break the algal tissues.
Cell lysis: we break the cells to expose their DNA.
Filtration/Clarification - DNA binding - Membrane wash: in these steps, we basically remove all the things that we don't need, binding our DNA to a filter membrane.
Elution: the last step is to de-attach our final product (DNA) from the membrane filter, washing it with a solvent through centrifugation.
And that's it! We only needed 5h to follow the whole recipe and to finally obtain 20 cake portions, or kelp samples... After extracting the genetic material we can quantify it with different machines. We used a fluorometer, which uses fluorescent dyes to determine the concentration of either nucleic acids or proteins in a sample, by UV-absorbance method.
The final product can be stored in the freezer until further use. This procedure is normally done in a lab, but but if you are curious about how DNA looks like, you can extract it from fruit at home following this tutorial from FuseSchool - Global Education:
Have fun! 🍓