Biochemistry (Moscow)

, Volume 80, Issue 11, pp 1478–1484 | Cite as

A rapid and cost-effective method for DNA extraction from archival herbarium specimens

  • A. A. KrinitsinaEmail author
  • T. V. Sizova
  • M. A. Zaika
  • A. S. Speranskaya
  • A. P. Sukhorukov


Here we report a rapid and cost-effective method for the extraction of total DNA from herbarium specimens up to 50-90-year-old. The method takes about 2 h, uses AMPure XP magnetic beads diluted by PEG-8000-containing buffer, and does not require use of traditional volatile components like chloroform, phenol, and liquid nitrogen. It yields up to 4 μg of total nucleic acid with high purity from about 30 mg of dry material. The quality of the extracted DNA was tested by PCR amplification of 5S rRNA and rbcL genes (nuclear and chloroplast DNA markers) and compared against the traditional chloroform/isoamyl alcohol method. Our results demonstrate that the use of the magnetic beads is crucial for extraction of DNA suitable for subsequent PCR from herbarium samples due to the decreasing inhibitor concentrations, reducing short fragments of degraded DNA, and increasing median DNA fragment sizes.


DNA extraction herbarium PCR 5S rRNA rbcL genomic markers sequence 



cetyltrimethylammonium bromide


Main Botanical Garden of the Russian Academy of Sciences


Herbarium of the Biological Faculty of Moscow State University


polymerase chain reaction


polyvinylpyrrolidone, 40 kDa


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Copyright information

© Pleiades Publishing, Ltd. 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • A. A. Krinitsina
    • 1
    Email author
  • T. V. Sizova
    • 2
  • M. A. Zaika
    • 1
  • A. S. Speranskaya
    • 1
    • 3
  • A. P. Sukhorukov
    • 1
  1. 1.Faculty of BiologyLomonosov Moscow State UniversityMoscowRussia
  2. 2.Vavilov Institute of General GeneticsRussian Academy of SciencesMoscowRussia
  3. 3.Central Research Institute of EpidemiologyFederal Service on Customers Rights Protection and Human Well-being SurveillanceMoscowRussia

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