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Published on : Jun 12, 2019

Collecting DNA from plant tissues using conventional techniques is time-consuming. Scientists have developed a novel technique that makes DNA collection a few minutes task. In this technique, researchers used micro-needle patches to collect DNA from plant tissues. To diagnose a disease in any plant, the first step is DNA extraction. As a result, this new technique will prove significant in developing on-site detection tools for plant diseases.

Farmers to benefit the Most 

Qingshan Wei, assistant professor, department of chemical and biomolecular engineering, North Carolina State University, says that, “When farmers identify a probable disease in plants, they want to know about it immediately. Plant diseases spread quickly so it is important to address it faster. Rapid identification of plant diseases helps in that.” "The main hurdle in rapid identification of plant diseases is the amount of time it takes for DNA extraction from a plant sample, and this technique offers a faster yet simpler solution to this issue," he added. Qingshan Wei is also the co-corresponding author of a research paper on this work.

Traditionally, researchers use CTAB method to extract DNA from plant tissues which requires laboratory, equipment, and 3 to 4 hours. DNA extraction using CTAB is a multi-step process. It involves a number of things, such as, tissue grindings, centrifuges, and organic solvent. However, the new technique requires only an aqueous buffer solution and a micro-needle patch. This is made of a low-cost polymer and is of the size of a postal stamp. Hundreds of micro-needles only 0.8 millimeter long make for one side of the patch.