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Optimising DNA extraction from a critically endangered marine alga


Prior to conducting genetic studies on critically endangered species, it is desirable to optimise DNA extraction to limit destructive sampling and reduce impacts on populations. We optimized DNA extraction for the critically endangered marine alga, Nereia lophocladia. Only gentle cryogenic homogenization using a mortar and pestle, followed by brief incubation in lysis buffer, produced high molecular weight DNA. However, this DNA still required post hoc cleanup to be of sufficient quantity for PCR and next generation sequencing. Importantly, sufficient DNA can be obtained from as little as 25 mg of algal material while still allowing contingencies for losses associated with cleanup. Optimisation of DNA extraction for this critically endangered species is paving the way for genomic studies to inform management strategies and conservation.

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We thank Nicholas Yee, Luke Finley and Andrew Roberts for specimen collection. Research was done under New South Wales Department of Primary Industries permits SIMP 2015/001 and PO1/0059(A)-2.0.

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Correspondence to M. A. Coleman.

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Coleman, M.A., Weigner, K.E. & Kelaher, B.P. Optimising DNA extraction from a critically endangered marine alga. Conservation Genet Resour 10, 309–311 (2018).

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  • Seaweed
  • Threatened
  • Rare
  • Brown alga