The Use of Flow Cytometry for Estimating Genome Sizes and DNA Ploidy Levels in Plants

João Loureiro, Martin Čertner, Magdalena Lučanová, Elwira Sliwinska, Filip Kolář, Jaroslav Doležel, Sònia Garcia, Sílvia Castro, David W. Galbraith

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Flow cytometry has emerged as a uniquely flexible, accurate, and widely applicable technology for the analysis of plant cells. One of its most important applications centers on the measurement of nuclear DNA contents. This chapter describes the essential features of this measurement, outlining the overall methods and strategies, but going on to provide a wealth of technical details to ensure the most accurate and reproducible results. The chapter is aimed to be equally accessible to experienced plant cytometrists as well as those newly entering the field. Besides providing a step-by-step guide for estimating genome sizes and DNA-ploidy levels from fresh tissues, special attention is paid to the use of seeds and desiccated tissues for such purposes. Methodological aspects regarding field sampling, transport, and storage of plant material are also given in detail. Finally, troubleshooting information for the most common problems that may arise during the application of these methods is provided.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationMethods in Molecular Biology
PublisherHumana Press Inc.
Number of pages40
StatePublished - 2023
Externally publishedYes

Publication series

NameMethods in Molecular Biology
ISSN (Print)1064-3745
ISSN (Electronic)1940-6029


  • Best practices
  • DAPI
  • Desiccated tissues
  • DNA-ploidy level
  • Flow cytometry
  • Genome size
  • Plant nuclei isolation
  • Plant tissues
  • Propidium iodide
  • Seeds

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics


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