Capturing Genes from Herbaria

  • Kidner, Catherine (Principal Investigator)
  • Nicholls, James (Co-investigator)
  • Hart, Michelle (Co-investigator)
  • Forrest, Laura (Co-investigator)

Project Details


NBAF pilot project to test targetted enrichment on herbarium material of up to 150 years old

Layman's description

Herbaria contain a wealth of information about plant diversity and distributions. Assessing the genetic component of this diversity is difficult due to the degraded quality of DNA after many years of herbarium storage. We aim to use targeted enrichment through a hybrid capture method to capture the best DNA extractable from the sample allowing us to genetically characterise samples collected either on recent field work or many years ago. This will open up the amazing collection of information in herbaria for genetic analysis and revolutionise phylogenetic support for taxonomy.

Key findings

Taregette enrichment is a successful and affordable option for deriving sufficient sequence data from herbarium specimens to place species reliably within phylogenies and enable molecular evolutionary analysis, it will hugely increase the utility of the Herbarium and the speed and power of the phylogenetic analysis which underpins much of the taxonomic work at RBGE and other botanic gardens
Effective start/end date1/03/1531/08/15


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