Anonymous
Anonymous asked in Science & MathematicsOther - Science · 7 months ago

Do dead plants leave behind dna?

Even if it was years ago and theres no visible plant? I ask because when I was a kid I saw a cactus that I really liked. I recently went to the location it use to be in to see if I could get a piece (stem). It was strange because the cactus was gone. It looked like it had never even existed. My question is....is if it died and rotted and turned to compost it must have left some dna that I could extract in a soil sample right?

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  • 7 months ago
    Favorite Answer

    If this had been decomposing for 2 years it will likely be very difficult to find any DNA from this plant. When a plant dies it is broken down by decomposers and likely be mixed with large amount of other organic material like RNA and other proteins that you won't be able to find again. There will be a lot of DNA from other organisms in the area if the DNA hasn't already been compromised.

    Even if you could find some DNA it would be very difficult to get and you would have to import it into a cell which is quite a scientific and expensive procedure and then grow in a lab. You can ask some plant specialists to see if you know what kind of cacti it was and then buy a new one?

  • MARK
    Lv 7
    7 months ago

    If the organism, it does not matter whether or not its a plant, is no longer there its DNA will no longer there. If the organism has been consumed by detritivores and decomposers there is not going to be much, if any, organic material left from it. What may remain will be mixed up with the organic material from other decomposed organisms, the organic waste material from living animals and the physical environment. Your odds of finding DNA from the organism are next to non-existent.

  • Greg
    Lv 7
    7 months ago

    Could you be more obsessed about a prickly pear cactus you saw 14 years ago?

  • Mark
    Lv 7
    7 months ago

    Yes, even if it decomposed, there would be DNA. But what would you DO with it, assuming you're not a mad scientist with a secret laboratory?

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