RNA extraction from seaweed tissues is problematic due to the presence of polysaccharides and polyphenolic compounds upon cell disruption. Besides, a successful RNA isolation from seaweed tissues can sometimes be strain-and species-specific. Four different methods were used to extract RNA from Gracilaria changii (Gracilariales, Rhodophyta), collected from the mangrove area at Morib, Selangor, Malaysia. An optimised and modified total RNA extraction method was developed for this recalcitrant species. The use of sand in tissue grinding, and the incorporation of phenol extraction at the initial stage resulted in the highest RNA yield (0.65–1.14 µg g −1 fresh weight) with high quality (A 260:280 ratio 1.80–2.05). The RNA obtained is suitable for cDNA synthesis and future functional genomic studies.
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