I recently received some images from a DNA study of Boelen’s pythons, which I have been involved in with some researchers at the University of Central Arkansas. They tested several samples that I provided, and they are constructing building blocks of simple sequence repeat regions for developing markers for M.boeleni.
An image of an Agarose gel (molecular weight marker).
Mixing blood and lysis buffer (A lysis buffer is used to lyse cells for use in
experiments that analyze the compounds of the cells.)
Vortexing before heating
Comments from one of the researchers about the images are as follows:
The black and white image is of an Agarose gel (molecular weight marker). It is a technique used in biochemistry and molecular biology to separate DNA or RNA molecules by size.
The DNA-EXTN, This is our first look in the first research study to see if DNA has been successfully extracted. what you can see s that the agarose gel is divided into columns. The first column is what we call a molecular weight marker that tells us 1) the size of the DNA extracted, and 2) that the agarose gel worked as expected. Now on agarose, DNA will run from the top of the gel to the bottom of the gel. Heavier/bigger DNA fragments do not run as far, as you can see all of the fragments in this gel are near the top of the gel and are larger (higher up) than even our molecular weight marker indicating that the DNA is of the correct size (big…).
Also the tightness of the band can indicate purity; in this case can you guess which are more pure? Yes the set on the left; the ones on the right are from the older snake skins. Know how we spot multiple paternity? In the lab we have a very accurate way to size these bands. Now if we know the parent’s genotype (i.e. have a DNA sample), we can directly compare kids to parents, and look for any rouge DNA bands that MUST come form another parent. If we don’t have the parents, then we assume a worst case scenario – that is that the parents contributed any combination of four different bands to the progeny. Now if we see a fifth band show up, we immediately know that there is another parent.
J.D. Swanson, Ph.D.
Asst. Professor of Biology
University of Central Arkansas