To study expression in plants, high-quality RNA must be extracted in quantities sufficient for subsequent cDNA library construction. Field-based collections are often limited in quantity and quality of tissue and are typically preserved in RNAlater. Obtaining sufficient and high-quality yield from variously preserved samples is essential to studies of comparative biology. Researchers from the University of California, Berkeley, present a protocol for the extraction of high-quality RNA from even the most recalcitrant plant tissues.
Tissues from mosses, cycads, and angiosperm floral organs and leaves were preserved in RNAlater or frozen fresh at -80°C. Extractions were performed and quality was measured for yield and purity. This protocol results in the extraction of high-quality RNA from a variety of plant tissues representing vascular and nonvascular plants. RNA was used for cDNA synthesis to generate libraries for next-generation sequencing and for expression studies using quantitative PCR (qPCR) and semiquantitative reverse transcription PCR (RT-PCR).