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.
What is DNA barcoding?
A DNA barcode is a short genetic marker or combination of such markers that can be used to create a unique fingerprint for identification of a wide range of organisms. In order for a marker to be effective as a DNA barcode, it should, ideally, have sufficient sequence variation to distinguish between closely related species, exist in all taxa, be capable of amplification by universal primers, and sequence cleanly. A number of markers that meet these criteria have been identified for microalgae including eukaryotic ribosomal RNA genes in the nucleus (18s and ITS), bacterial ribosomal RNA genes in cyanobacteria and chloroplasts (ITS, 16s and 23s), and mitochondrial cytochrome oxidase genes (cox1 and cox2).
Included In Kit
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.
Algal strains in this Teaching Kit include:
UTEX 2714 Chlorella vulgaris
UTEX 646 Phaeodactylum tricornutum
UTEX 1237 Scenedesmus dimorphus
UTEX 2164 Nannochloropsis oculata
*United States Non-Profit Academic and Government Institutions and Affiliated Students/Teachers can purchase this Teaching Kit at a discounted rate of $180 USD. The discount is not available to private or commercial companies. You must have a UTEX Customer Account set up and have submitted the discount request form for approval. The discounted price will automatically be shown once you are logged into your account.