I recently moved to a different research institute and was happy to discover that my new lab had not one but several different kits for yeast genomic DNA isolation. I like trying new kits and protocols. I especially like trying new kits when they promise, like the Olympics, to yield results that are “Swifter, Higher, Stronger”. However, in this case I should have been alarmed by the variety of kits, rather than encouraged by it. An array of kits means that the people in the lab are still looking.
A secondary warning sign should have been the phrase “take your bacterial cells…” in one of the kit protocols. The phrase clearly had been copied from a bacterial manual. While both bacteria and yeast are single cell organisms, they are not interchangeable. For example, yeast have nucleus and cytoskeleton—unlike bacterial cells.
In the end, one of the kits failed to produce DNA of reasonable quality. The other kit resulted in usable DNA but with a low concentration. My labmates obtained similar results. I think I’ll stick to the tried and true DIY prep for a while.
Why Use a DIY Method for DNA Isolation?
Unlike with kits, there are no propriety reagents in a DIY protocol. You know what exactly is in each reagent. Knowing the composition of your reagents makes troubleshooting that much easier. You can test or buy new components of a solution. Also, you can use only the amount of RNase you need in each reaction, which is more laboratory budget friendly. You could also customize the method. If you aren’t getting an appropriate yield, you can increase the number of cells you start with or increase the ethanol precipitation time at step nine.
As we learned in my previous article, cell culture hoods have many names. As if that wasn’t enough, they are all-too-often misunderstood and mistreated, which can lead to dangerous situations harmful for both the worker and the general lab environment. Here are three common ways that workers abuse biological safety cabinets; make sure you don’t […]
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