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Collecting Leaf Samples for DNA-Based Variety Identification

Jerry Dangl manager, Plant Identification Lab
Foundation Plant Services
(530) 752-7540
gsdangl@ucdavis.edu

For standard leaf samples, a kit containing collection materials and instructions will be sent to you as part of the service. You will receive: blotting paper, plastic bags, orange desiccant beads and envelopes. Keep the orange beads sealed until use or they will absorb moisture from the air and become less effective (the orange beads will turn pale).

Samples other than standard dried leaves require special handling and carry a $50 per sample surcharge. Collection instructions for non-standard sample types are provided case-by-case.

  1. Collect small young leaves from near the shoot tips, the younger the better. Collect enough leaves to cover the blotting paper without overlapping the leaves. Avoid collecting during a hot spell.
  2. Place the leaves in an envelope between the two sheets of blotting paper. Keep the leaves flat. Do not overlap the leaves.
  3. Seal the envelope and write the name of the sample on the envelope in pen. Be sure you identify the sampled plant unambiguously. Use the same sample name on the DNA-ID Sample Submission Form. Each envelope must contain leaves from only one plant.
  4. Put the sample envelopes into a plastic bag. Up to 10 sample envelopes can be placed into one bag.
  5. Put about 50 grams (4 large tablespoons) of orange desiccant beads into the bag with the envelopes and seal the bag. Put this plastic bag into a second bag, add orange desiccant into the outer bag and seal. Keep the bags sealed. If the orange desiccant turns pale, it has absorbed moisture and must be replaced.
  6. Complete the DNA-ID Sample Submission Form. Use the same sample names on the DNA-ID Sample Submission Form as on the sample envelopes. Submit the DNA-ID Sample Submission Form by email, or mail it with the samples. When we receive the samples, we will complete the entire Agreement Form and send it to you for signature.

Mail samples to: (via US Postal Service)
Foundation Plant Services
Attn: Jerry Dangl
University of California
One Shields Ave.
Davis, CA 95616
(via UPS, FedEx or other courier)
Foundation Plant Services
Attn: Jerry Dangl
455 Hopkins Road
Davis, CA 95616