Molecular Biology

Providing support for research and projects involving: DNA Extractions, NGS Techniques, Sanger Sequencing and Plastid / Nuclear Microsatellites.

Scientist loading a gel

The Molecular Biology laboratory provides basic training and support for research and projects involving: DNA Extractions, NGS Techniques, Sanger Sequencing and Plastid / Nuclear Microsatellites.

The team can also help with project design, costing and troubleshooting. The facilities available support both the strategic outputs of the science strategy (e.g. the Plant And Fungal Tree Of Life) and many of the cutting-edge science research projects currently being undertaken at Kew, such as projects investigating Acute Oak Decline and Ash Dieback Disease.

Access to the laboratory is generally through a grant-funded project with a Kew co-PI that aligns with Kew’s strategic aims.

Next-Gen Sequencing Techniques 

The  laboratory hosts an Illumina MiSeq platform. The MiSeq is an integrated instrument that performs clonal amplification, genomic DNA sequencing and data analysis with base calling, alignment, variant calling, and reporting in a single run. The MiSeq benchtop instrument utilizes a double-sided, single-lane flow cell and reagent cartridge supplied in kit form. 

Techniques that can be undertaken using this platform include: Shotgun Sequencing (plants and fungi), Whole Genome Sequencing (fungi), Microsatellite Discovery, RadSeq, Baiting (HybSeq), and Amplicon Sequencing.

It is also possible to prepare libraries in the laboratory for external HiSeq runs.

Sanger Sequencing

Including: DNA Quantification, PCR, Cycle Sequencing.

Population Genetics

Including: Plastid microsatellites and Nuclear microsatellites.

The lab uses an ABI 3730 genetic analyser, with 48 X 36cm capillaries to run both Sanger sequencing and population genetics samples. This platform supports studies such as the ongoing project to elucidate population genetic relationships for the threatened orchid Cypripedium calceolus.

In addition to the Illumina MiSeq  and ABI 3730 DNA Analyzer, the laboratory operates a DNA size selection system (Pippin), Covaris Ultrasonicator and tools for DNA quality assessment (incl. Bioanalyzer, Nanodrop, Quantas and Qubit). There are also the standard set of molecular biology devices found in all labs (e.g. centrifuges, thermal cyclers etc).


For more information please contact our Laboratory manager Dr Dion Devey.

Email: d.devey@kew,org

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