Skip to main content
Dryad logo

Data from: Robust DNA isolation and high-throughput sequencing library construction for herbarium specimens


Saeidi, Saman; McKain, Michael R.; Kellogg, Elizabeth A. (2019), Data from: Robust DNA isolation and high-throughput sequencing library construction for herbarium specimens, Dryad, Dataset,


Herbaria are an invaluable source of plant material that can be used in a variety of biological studies. The use of herbarium specimens is associated with a number of challenges including sample preservation quality, degraded DNA, and destructive sampling of rare specimens. In order to more effectively use herbarium material in large sequencing projects, a dependable and scalable method of DNA isolation and library preparation is needed. This paper demonstrates a robust, beginning-to-end protocol for DNA isolation and high-throughput library construction from herbarium specimens that does not require modification for individual samples. This protocol is tailored for low quality dried plant material and takes advantage of existing methods by optimizing tissue grinding, modifying library size selection, and introducing an optional reamplification step for low yield libraries. Reamplification of low yield DNA libraries can rescue samples derived from irreplaceable and potentially valuable herbarium specimens, negating the need for additional destructive sampling and without introducing discernible sequencing bias for common phylogenetic applications. The protocol has been tested on hundreds of grass species, but is expected to be adaptable for use in other plant lineages after verification. This protocol can be limited by extremely degraded DNA, where fragments do not exist in the desired size range, and by secondary metabolites present in some plant material that inhibit clean DNA isolation. Overall, this protocol introduces a fast and comprehensive method that allows for DNA isolation and library preparation of 24 samples in less than 13 hours, with only 8 hours of active hands-on time with minimal modifications.

Usage Notes