Belmont University Research Symposium (BURS)

Developing a Protocol for the Isolation of Lichen DNA for Educators to Use in DNA Barcoding Projects

Publication Date



Sciences and Mathematics, College of


Biology, Department of

BURS Faculty Advisor

Darlene Panvini, Chris Barton

Presentation Type

Poster Presentation


Lichens are bioindicators of air quality due to sensitivity to atmospheric pollutants. Easily collected by students, lichens can be used to address a variety of ecological questions. For this study, lichens were collected from trees and fallen limbs along a high-traffic street and a park in Nashville, Tennessee. Fungal DNA was extracted using Promega and Qiagen DNA isolation kits then amplified using PCR. While this procedure has worked in the past, current challenges indicate that a simple universal protocol is needed so educators can use lichen DNA barcoding in undergraduate research and lab courses. The DNA isolation kits were analyzed based on length of trial, ease of understanding, and level of difficulty to complete. Information sheets created for each kit were supplemented with lichen collection protocols, PCR procedures, and DNA sequence analyses. A comparison of lichen diversity at the two sites was used to test the efficacy of these methods.

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