Globally, biodiversity is concentrated around the equator, but the scientific institutions generating DNA sequence data to study that biodiversity tend to be clustered in developed countries toward the poles. However, the rapidly decreasing cost of DNA sequencing has the potential to change this dynamic and create a more equitable global distribution of genetic research. In a review article published online on July 13, 2018 in Applications in Plant Sciences, Dr. Gillian Dean (photo), from the Department of Botany at the University of British Columbia, and colleagues show the feasibility of producing high-quality sequence data at a laboratory in Indonesia. The open-access article is titled “Generating DNA Sequence Data with Limited Resources for Molecular Biology: Lessons from a Barcoding Project in Indonesia.” For many laboratories in the developing world, a lack of funding and practical experience are major hurdles to generating their own DNA sequence data. However, the financial, technical, and logistical burden of producing DNA sequence data has dropped precipitously in recent years. DNA sequencing is increasingly done at centralized "core" facilities dedicated to producing high-quality sequence data from prepared samples at high volume and low cost. This means that laboratories need only do initial processing of tissue to prepare DNA samples to be sent to a sequencing core facility. Molecular techniques like DNA extraction, purification, and PCR, which are necessary to prepare samples for sequencing, are now quite well established, with protocols that are relatively simple using fairly inexpensive reagents (ingredients).
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