Extracting DNA from granivorous birds

We recently had a request to sequence the diets of granivorous birds.

This time, instead of fecals, we’d get crop samples. Grinding up tiny seeds can be difficult. Mortar and pestles are tough to use and have the risk of contamination.

We started using disposable tubes with disposable steel beads to grind the samples. This goes in the bead beater and 5 minutes later, voila. Perfect for DNA extraction.

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Seeds ground in lysis buffer