Research Article

Comparative evaluation of total RNA extraction methods in Theobroma cacao using shoot apical meristems

Published: March 04, 2016
Genet. Mol. Res. 15(1): gmr7364 DOI: https://doi.org/10.4238/gmr.15017364
Cite this Article:
(2016). Comparative evaluation of total RNA extraction methods in Theobroma cacao using shoot apical meristems. Genet. Mol. Res. 15(1): gmr7364. https://doi.org/10.4238/gmr.15017364
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Abstract

Theobroma cacao is a species of great economic importance with its beans used for chocolate production. The tree has been a target of various molecular studies. It contains many polyphenols, which complicate the extraction of nucleic acids with the extraction protocols requiring a large amount of plant material. These issues, therefore, necessitate the optimization of the protocols. The aim of the present study was to evaluate different methods for extraction of total RNA from shoot apical meristems of T. cacao ‘CCN 51’ and to assess the influence of storage conditions for the meristems on the extraction. The study also aimed to identify the most efficient protocol for RNA extraction using a small amount of plant material. Four different protocols were evaluated for RNA extraction using one shoot apical meristem per sample. Among these protocols, one that was more efficient was then tested to extract RNA using four different numbers of shoot apical meristems, subjected to three different storage conditions. The best protocol was tested for cDNA amplification using reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction; the cDNA quality was determined to be satisfactory for molecular analyses. The study revealed that with the best RNA extraction protocol, one shoot apical meristem was sufficient for extraction of high-quality total RNA. The results obtained might enable advances in genetic analyses and molecular studies using reduced amount of plant material.

Theobroma cacao is a species of great economic importance with its beans used for chocolate production. The tree has been a target of various molecular studies. It contains many polyphenols, which complicate the extraction of nucleic acids with the extraction protocols requiring a large amount of plant material. These issues, therefore, necessitate the optimization of the protocols. The aim of the present study was to evaluate different methods for extraction of total RNA from shoot apical meristems of T. cacao ‘CCN 51’ and to assess the influence of storage conditions for the meristems on the extraction. The study also aimed to identify the most efficient protocol for RNA extraction using a small amount of plant material. Four different protocols were evaluated for RNA extraction using one shoot apical meristem per sample. Among these protocols, one that was more efficient was then tested to extract RNA using four different numbers of shoot apical meristems, subjected to three different storage conditions. The best protocol was tested for cDNA amplification using reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction; the cDNA quality was determined to be satisfactory for molecular analyses. The study revealed that with the best RNA extraction protocol, one shoot apical meristem was sufficient for extraction of high-quality total RNA. The results obtained might enable advances in genetic analyses and molecular studies using reduced amount of plant material.