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DNA bar-coding the Welsh flora

Herbarium specimens
Small samples are removed from the herbarium specimens then sent to the University of Aberystwyth for the DNA extraction.

Staff: Tim Rich

The flora of Wales contains approximately 1,200 native and archaeophyte (i.e. introduced before 1500) species of higher plants. In collaboration with Prof. Mike Wilkinson of Aberystwyth and Dr Natasha de Vere of National Botanic Garden of Wales, we are currently undertaking a project to DNA barcode the Welsh flora.

DNA samples are taken from voucher specimens in the Welsh National Herbarium whose identification has been verified. DNA is extracted from the samples and sequence data collected for the two plant bar-coding genes matK and rbcL. The bar-code data can then be used for a range of applications including pollination studies.