Extraction of RNA from tissues containing high levels of procyanidins that bind RNA

Chang Sheng Wang, Lila O. Vodkin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Commonly used methods for extraction of RNA from plants are not effective for isolation of high quality RNA from the pigmented seed coats of soybeans that produce procyanidins (tannins) during seed coat development. We demonstrate a significant modification of the phenol-LiCl method that yields high quality RNA from a black seed coat variety. In this method, seed coat material was ground in a buffer containing a high concentration of bovine serum albumin (100 mg BSA/50 mg of lyophilized seed coats) to competitively inhibit proanthocyanidin binding. The presence of hydrated insoluble polyvinylpoly-pyrrolidone (PVPP) was also necessary to bind proanthocyanidins and remove them from solution. Proteinase K was added to digest the remaining BSA, and phenol extraction was used to remove both the proteins and small molecular weight complexes formed by BSA and proanthocyanidins. After LiCl and ethanol precipitations, the RNA quality was examined by UV absorbance spectra, gel electrophoresis, and hybridization. Using this method, good quality RNA can be extracted from pigmented seed coats of soybean varieties that are homozygous for the recessive i allele and also contain the dominant T gene that results in production of procyanidins in the seed coat. The method is also effective for tissues from other plant species that contain abundant polyphenolic compounds.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)132-145
Number of pages14
JournalPlant Molecular Biology Reporter
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 1 1994


  • Glycine max
  • Soybean
  • flavonoids
  • procyanidins

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Plant Science


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