Maqui berry (Aristotelia chilensis) is a native Chilean species that produces
berries that are exceptionally rich in anthocyanins and natural antioxidants.
These natural compounds provide an array of health benefits for humans, making
them very desirable in a fruit. At the same time, these substances also
interfere with nucleic acid preparations, making RNA extraction from Maqui berry
a major challenge. Our group established a method for RNA extraction of Maqui
berry with a high quality RNA (good purity, good integrity and higher yield).
This procedure is based on the adapted CTAB method using high concentrations of
PVP (4 %) and β-mercaptoethanol (4 %) and spermidine in the extraction buffer.
These reagents help to remove contaminants such as polysaccharides, proteins,
phenols and also prevent the oxidation of phenolic compounds. The high quality
of RNA isolated through this method allowed its uses with success in molecular
applications for this endemic Chilean fruit, such as differential expression
analysis of RNA-Seq data using next generation sequencing (NGS). Furthermore, we
consider that our method could potentially be used for other plant species with
extremely high levels of antioxidants and anthocyanins.