Biotech Updates

Utility of DNA Banks in Biodiversity Studies

February 9, 2007

Analyzing DNA sequence is the best way to determine diversity, and the technique has helped many taxonomic studies. The manipulation of DNA also has made a huge impact on plant breeding and biotechnology. Realizing that DNA is an important resource, DNA banks that conserve collections from various plant species have been established worldwide.

DNA banks have been around since the 1980s. However, they mostly operate independently of each other and formal collaboration among them is still not well established. To maximize their utility, Thomas Hodkinson in the University of Dublin, Ireland and his colleagues have presented their view that integrating such facilities with herbaria, botanic gardens, genebanks, seed banks and bioinformatic resources should be practiced.

Hodkinson’s group encourages the establishment of more DNA banks. The researchers reviewed in their paper the basic operations in a DNA bank including protocols for DNA collection, preservation, isolation, storage, database management and exchange procedures. The information may be useful to researchers who wish to set up or those already managing a DNA bank facility.

Subscribers to the Journal of Plant Research can access the complete paper at