Tuesday, 17 April 2012

More than half Way- Central Plateau and DNA extraction

With Easter behind us I feel that my fellowship is going down a slope to the end! Oh no! We have had a couple of tramps up to Rotopounamu and to Taranaki Falls on the Central Plateau...more interesting ferns on the way. The Stichus...Umbrella ferns on the Taranaki Falls walk were great and so many T. reniforme on the ponamu lakeside walk. ....photos to come. Beautiful weather for walking and it was good to be out and about. I am now into the process of mounting ferns and will have my first attempts this week. We use wettable tape to attach the ferns to the acid free card and leave space for the label. They must be mounted as seen growing or as closely as possible.
the equipment

Umbrella ferns- Stichus cunninghamii
Gentiana bellidifolia -not a fern but very cool

So this week has been a real science focus. On Tuesday Leon and I made our way up,up,up to Victoria University Kirk building , floor 6 , to a chemistry lab where we began a procedure to extract DNA from some 11 samples to determine if they were what they said they were morphologically. 

 Leon heating a pipette to make a glass grinder to crush the dried leaf tissue
Collecting liquid nitrogen which freezes the material in order to crush it
 cooking for 45 minutes to further break down and increase surface area for DNA extraction
Adding detergent/ then chloroform and then removing the aqueous liquid ....the DNA precipitates out and with help from the centrifuge we get pure DNA     Teachers' Domain: DNA Extraction
See the teacher domain post video in my blog...it shows exactly what we did!

http://www.sumanasinc.com/webcontent/animations/content/pcr.html- this site explains the PCA reaction which we do tomorrow

http://learn.genetics.utah.edu/content/labs/extraction/howto/- this is a site which shows DNA extraction in a kitchen!

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