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Keep Track of Your Corn

It’s been a while since I blogged and I want to apologize to all. It’s been so hard for me to get used to living without internet in my new apartment, not to mention that the library is only open during my work hours and I never make it back from the field before it closes. Needless to say, I drafted this post back in July. Hope it’s not too late!

Hole Punching Tissue. A tedious by necessary evil!

Remember last time I’d mentioned that I loved the snip and slip method of collecting tissue…well, I may retract my statement. We used that same tissue and hole punched it into tubes in preparation for tissue grinding and chloroform extraction of DNA. The little steel balls are the best part of that whole process. If you have steady hands and don’t mind them bouncing all over like tiny marbles you might be able to get through the process. Interestingly enough, Jesse, our senior graduate student freeze dried the tissue before we had to punch holes with it. This made the process so much more efficient. No more tissue sticking to punchers, no more iron corn leaves that refuse to yield their tissue, just perfection.

In addition to the never ending adventure of tissue, we’ve now been rowbanding. Rowbands are colored cardboard with stuck on labels identifying each specific row or corn plant. This helps us keep track of the specific corn and makes data collection a breeze. These labels even have both a linear and a 3-D barcode on them. Our scanners can be transported out to the field and can automatically collect the data for you by scanning in or typing in your information for a specific plant. Myself and the other two undergrads have been diligently sticking labels and row banding the corn plants so that we are better able to keep track of it!

Sara, another undergrad, fanning out our row bands!

Sara, another undergrad, fanning out our rowbands.

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