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The shoot apical meristem houses stem cells responsible for the continuous formation of aerial plant organs including leaves and stems throughout the life of plants. Laser-microdissection in combination with high-throughput technology such as next generation sequencing permits an in-depth analysis of molecular events associated with specific cell type of interest. Sample preparation is the most critical step in ensuring good quality RNA to be extracted from samples following laser-microdissection. Here, we optimized the sample preparation for a major legume crop, soybean. We used Farmer’s solution as a fixative and paraffin as the embedding medium for soybean shoot apical meristem tissue without the use of any specialized equipment. Shorter time for tissue fixation (two days) was found to be critical for the preservation of RNA in soybean shoot apical meristem. We further demonstrated the utility of this method for different tissues derived from soybean and rice. The method outlined here shall facilitate studies on crop plants involving laser-microdissection.
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