Preparation of megabase-sized DNA from a variety of organisms using the nuclei method for advanced genomics research

Nat Protoc. 2012 Feb 16;7(3):467-78. doi: 10.1038/nprot.2011.455.


Megabase-sized DNA is crucial to modern genomics research of all organisms. Among the preparation methods developed, the nuclei method is the simplest and most widely used for preparing high-quality megabase-sized DNA from divergent organisms. In this method, nuclei are first isolated by physically grinding the source tissues. The nontarget cytoplast organellar genomes and metabolites are removed by centrifugation and washing, thus maximizing the utility of the method and substantially improving the digestibility and clonability of the resultant DNA. The nuclei are then embedded in an agarose matrix containing numerous pores, allowing the access of restriction enzymes while preventing the DNA from physical shearing. DNA is extracted from the nuclei, purified and subsequently manipulated in the agarose matrix. Here we describe the nuclei method that we have successfully used to prepare high-quality megabase-sized DNA from hundreds of plant, animal, fish, insect, algal and microbial species. The entire protocol takes ∼3 d.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Cell Nucleus / genetics*
  • DNA / isolation & purification*
  • Genomics / methods*
  • Sepharose
  • Specimen Handling / methods*


  • DNA
  • Sepharose