Technical Considerations (Working Protocol for Museum DNA)

—–Original Message—–

From: Mary M Peacock
Sent: Wednesday, November 24, 2010 12:43 PM
To: David & Carmela Kortum
Subject: RE: Alvord Cutthroat Trout, UMMZ, etc.

David – Thanks for the information but we have isolated DNA from Lahontan cutthroat trout museum samples as old as the late 1800’s and have a working protocol. The funding is in the pipeline with USFWS. I have not requested samples from U of Michigan as of yet, but as soon as we have the funding in hand will do so. I think with the extensive data we have for Lahontans including the Willow/Whitehorse populations we should be able to make some robust comparisons. Have a nice Thanksgiving!


Mary M Peacock, Ph.D.

Department of Biology,  Ecology, Evolution and Conservation Biology Graduate Program

University of Nevada, Reno – Reno, Nevada 89557

UNR - Mary Peacock Co-Director Ecology, Evolution and Conservation Biology

Technical From: David & Carmela Kortum
Sent: Wednesday, November 24, 2010 12:23 PM
To: Mary M Peacock
Subject: Alvord Cutthroat Trout, UMMZ, etc.

Hello Mary,

We hope that all is well for you and your personnel at UNR . . .

Just a brief note to connect a bit regarding the analysis of the clips from ***** Creek, and the museum specimens from UMMZ:  We hope that the funding and securing of museum specimens is progressing – and yet that the demands on your work schedule are allowing time to enjoy Thanksgiving with family and friends.

We’ve had some communication with Dennis Shiozawa regarding amplification of DNA from antiquated museum specimens (an email is embedded below).  Perhaps you’ve used his technique before (process with about 10-fold more proteinase K than standard – which yielded relatively un-degraded DNA from fish preserved in the late 1920’s).

Considering how hot the temps can be in the Nevada desert, it may be that there will be exceptional challenges with the Virgin Creek samples.  Yet, optimistically – with state of the art DNA analysis, and with some determination – noteworthy progress will be made in unraveling the mystery of the Alvord Cutthroat Trout.

We look forward to meaningful data being attained from the old, and new, samples.  If there is potentially an avenue whereby we can be of assistance, please don’t hesitate to inquire.

Thank you for your work on this project – in and among the many other items on your plate.

Best of Success,


David and Carmela Kortum

About kortumofdiscovery

Kortum of Discovery (a slight play on Lewis & Clark's Corps of Discovery) is a family team that is Affirming the Exceptional Beauty of Nature, one Adventure at a Time. With a focus toward rare and endangered species in the Great Basin and American west: discoveries, unique methodologies, and many “tall tales to tell” are continually being shared around the campfire!
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