J Integr Plant Biol. ›› 2008, Vol. 50 ›› Issue (3): 375-383.DOI: 10.1111/j.1744-7909.2007.00624.x

• New Technology • Previous Articles    

High-throughput Procedure for Single Pollen Grain Collection and Polymerase Chain Reaction in Plants

Ping-Hua Chen, Yong-Bao Pan and Ru-Kai Chen   

Abstract: Single pollen grain polymerase chain reaction (PCR) has succeeded in several species, however only limited numbers of pollen grains were involved due to difficulties in pollen isolation and lysis. This has limited its application in genetic analysis and mapping studies in plants. A high-throughput (HT) procedure for collecting and detecting genetic variation in a large number of individual pollen grains by PCR is reported. The HT procedure involved the collection of individual pollen grains by a pair of special forceps and the lysis of pollen grains in a heated alkali/detergent solution followed by neutralization with a tris-ethylenediamine tetraacetic acid (TE) buffer. These resulting template solutions yielded PCR reactions involving the 5S ribosomal RNA intergenic spacers, randomly amplified polymorphic DNA, and simple sequence repeats markers. Using this procedure, one person with experience could collect and process up to 288 single pollen grain PCR reactions per day. The method worked well on sugarcane, corn, Miscanthus spp., snap bean, sorghum, and tomato. The ability to collect and conduct PCR on individual pollen grains on a large scale offers a new approach to genetic analyses and mapping studies in an easily controllable environment with a considerable cost reduction. The method will also significantly benefit studies in species that are difficult subjects for classical genetic research.

Key words: DNA marker, high-throughput, polymerase chain reaction, single pollen grain.

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