The use of stable isotopic ratios in DNA testing tree roots can help identify specific species. The method relies on a map of isotopic ratios in plant species, and it has limitations. Samples should be collected carefully, since geographic factors can affect the ratios. In addition, annual tree rings may change isotopic ratios.
The results show that tree species differ significantly in d13C content. The highest bd13C value is found in a Douglas fir stand, while the lowest esoil15N values are found in an oak stand. The percentage of conifers in the Canadian forest was found to affect the isotopic signatures of tree roots, with lower levels found in oak stands. These differences were likely due to differences in the rate of SOM degradation and microbial activity.
Problems in extracting amplifiable DNA
The extraction of amplifiable DNA from a tree root can be problematic for a variety of reasons, ranging from the presence of polyphenols and polysaccharides to residual ribonucleosides that interfere with primer attachment during thermal cycling. This Tree Root DNA is why it is important to employ specialized methods when working with DNA from a tree root.
The extraction procedure involves a series of stages. The first stage involves removing contaminating RNA. After the RNA is removed, the DNA is suspended in a buffer and stored in an eppendorf tube at -20 degC. The next step involves purifying mRNA from the DNA.
Using ISSR markers to identify tree roots
Using ISSR markers to identify tree roots enables the study of genetic diversity of tree species. The method uses a small set of ISSR primers to detect a wide range of tree DNA. Although most studies have focused on northern hemisphere plants, it has been demonstrated that ISSRs can also detect DNA of native Australian species.
Phylogenetic analysis of tree roots has been improved through the development of molecular techniques. Although microscopy has traditionally been used to identify tree roots, using DNA from the roots of different tree species is a more precise method.
Using microscopy to identify tree roots
Microscopy is the latest tool used to identify tree roots. It consists of examining sections of roots to identify genus and species. The process is particularly useful when litigating claims for damage caused by tree roots. However, it has its limitations and requires specific anatomical keys.
The morphology of tree roots can be compared to pipes. The root shape and morphology of a certain species should be different from that of another species. A microscope can help identify these differences and match them with a particular pipe.