New at UTEX! DNA Barcoding Teaching Kit


UTEX Teaching Kits | UTEX Culture Collection of Algae

Microalgae Barcoding Overview

The identification of microalgae has traditionally been performed by the use of light and electron microscopy in combination with growth kinetics, assessment of nutritional requirements, and metabolic product characterization.  These can be extremely effective tools in the hands of experienced phycologists but these methods can be time consuming and the identification of algae with relatively few morphological keys is often problematic.  The proliferation of readily available and relatively inexpensive PCR and DNA sequencing technologies has made DNA barcoding an accessible means of identifying microalgae for most laboratories. 

This kit includes four genera of microalgae from two kingdoms of life (Plantae and Chromista). It also includes UTEX standard protocols for DNA purification, PCR amplification of the nuclear internal transcribed spacer region and the chloroplast 23s ribosomal DNA gene, and a basic bioinformatics protocol. These protocols are effective for extraction of DNA and PCR amplification of barcoding regions from a wide variety of microalgae.