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Open-File Report 2014–1066

Comparison of Three DNA Extraction Kits to Establish Maximum Yield and Quality of Coral-Associated Microbial DNA

By Erin J. Baker and Christina A. Kellogg

Thumbnail of and link to report PDF (816 KB)Abstract

Coral microbiology is an expanding field, yet there is no standard DNA extraction protocol. Although many researchers depend on commercial extraction kits, no specific kit has been optimized for use with coral samples. Both soil and plant DNA extraction kits from MO BIO Laboratories, Inc., have been used by many research groups for this purpose. MO BIO recently replaced their PowerPlant® kit with an improved PowerPlantPro kit, but it was unclear how these changes would affect the kit’s use with coral samples. In order to determine which kit produced the best results, we conducted a comparison between the original PowerPlant kit, the new PowerPlantPro kit, and an alternative kit, PowerSoil, using samples from several different coral genera. The PowerPlantPro kit had the highest DNA yields, but the lack of 16S rRNA gene amplification in many samples suggests that much of the yield may be coral DNA rather than microbial DNA. The most consistent positive amplifications came from the PowerSoil kit.

First posted May 14, 2014

For additional information, contact:
St. Petersburg Coastal and Marine Science Center
U.S. Geological Survey
600 4th Street South
St. Petersburg, FL 33701
(727) 502–8000

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Suggested citation:

Baker, E.J., and Kellogg, C.A., 2014, Composition of three DNA extraction kits to establish maximum yield and quality of coral-associated microbial DNA: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2014–1066, 14 p.,

ISSN 2331–1258 (online)




Materials and Methods

Results & Discussion


References Cited

Appendix 1

Appendix 2

Appendix 3

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