En EspaŅol

Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

Help us grow by giving to the Plant Database Fund or by becoming a member

Did you know you can access the Native Plant Information Network with your web-enabled smartphone?

Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

Search Smarty Plants
    
 
See a list of all Smarty Plants questions
Can't find the answer in our existing FAQs, submit a question to Mr. Smarty Plants.
Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.
 
rate this answer
Not Yet Rated

Tuesday - March 04, 2014

From: Austin, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: General Botany, Cacti and Succulents
Title: Source for DNA sequencing of Opuntia species
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

Hi Mr. Smarty Plants, I am trying to do a Opuntia speciation study, and rather just identifying the species by morphological comparison, I would also like to go a little deeper by comparing the DNA sequences in a few of them. I can isolate the DNA, but I don't have the ability or equipment to sequence it. On another note I don't have that much money. Is there a cheap (or relatively affordable) lab I can send it to in order to sequence it? thanks, -Matthew

ANSWER:

Sorry, but we don't have any expertise in the area of DNA sequencing so we don't know any sources.   Since you live in Austin you might contact someone at the University of Texas School of Biological Sciences.  The bio of Dr. Bob Jansen, Chairman of the Department of Integrative Biology reads:

"My primary research interests involve the determination of phylogenetic relationships among plants and genome evolution."

You also might look through recent issues of the Journal of the Cactus and Succulent Society of America (formerly Cactus and Succulent Society Journal) to find someone who is doing similar research on Opuntia or other cacti.   This journal is available at the University of Texas Life Science Library.  You could also contact the Cactus and Succulent Society of America directly.  Other possibilities are the Austin Cactus and Succulent Society, Tucson Cactus and Succulent Society and the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum.

 

More General Botany Questions

Fragrance in fragrant plants.
August 21, 2013 - Why are some flowering plants known for fragrance not fragrant or as fragrant? Is it a nutrition deficiency or just the plant?
view the full question and answer

Do bees visit cedar trees and other conifers for pollen?
November 30, 2013 - I was wondering if honey bees or native bees visit cedar trees for pollen? and what about other conifers?
view the full question and answer

Plants adding calcium to soil
June 08, 2006 - Hi, I am looking for a resource to help determine the functions of native plants. For instance, nitrogen fixing can be found in Indigo, Lead plant, lupines. Are there other plants that add back cal...
view the full question and answer

Should Rock Harlequin stay green all winter?
May 28, 2014 - I have a rock harlequin that came up in a area that had been disturbed. It came up last summer/fall and the foliage survived our tough winter. I can not find anything about this plant staying green al...
view the full question and answer

School project on acid rain effects on plants from Austin
October 18, 2013 - Hi I go to an Austin high school and I am doing a project on how acid rain affects plant growth. I am wondering if you know any plants that would be more or less susceptible to acid rain for this proj...
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants's Facebook profile Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.

Mr. Smarty Plants wants you to be his Facebook friend. Click the Facebook icon to add yourself to Mr. Smarty Plants list of friends.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP | STAFF
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center