Mini Leaf Crusher

The Mini Leaf Crusher™ is a hand-held clamp designed for sampling plants and their pathogens in the field and other locations distant from the analytical laboratory.

The Mini Leaf Crusher comes with an introductory five-pack of BioSpec DNA Sample Cards.  Additional Sample Cards can be ordered separately.

Cat. No. MLC320 - Mini Leaf Crusher includes 5 BioSpec DNA Sample Cards

Cat. No. DSC20 - BioSpec DNA Sample Cards, 20 pack

Cat. No. DSC50 - BioSpec DNA Sample Cards, 50 pack

availability: In Stock

  • Catalog Number


Used in combination with its unique BioSpec DNA Sample Card™, the
intracellular contents of leaves, stems, and root tissue are crushed by
clamping at thousands of pounds per inch².  The released cell extract is
immediately captured and stabilized on special cellulose filter paper
located within the compact Sample Card.  Multiple samples can be
collected in a day and no preservatives or low-temperature storage is
required for transit of the card(s) to the laboratory for subsequent RNA
or DNA analysis.

Using published techniques, the bound nucleic acids can then be
extracted in minutes from the special filter paper in the Card in a
purified state ready for direct application in downstream PCR-based
methodologies or genome sequencing.

Besides DNA, other intercellular biochemicals of leaves such as RNA, proteins, and pathogens can also be collected and preserved for remote analysis in the Mini Leaf Crusher™ Sample Card.  The "Mini Leaf Crusher" method can also be applied to extract proteins and nucleic acids from insects,  Most fresh animal tissue samples, however, do not "crush" with this tool due to their high cell wall flexibility.  Without using the Mini Leaf Crusher tool, the DNA Sample Card can be used to stabilize and transport microliter quantities of bodily fluids (blood, sputum, urine), liquified suspensions of biological/environmental material (feces, lake mud), processed foods, and animal tissues pre-homogenized by other preferred methods1).

1  BioSpec Products manufactures other "field-compatible" homogenizers suitable for lysing cells in "field conditions":..see the Spiralpestle and Microtube Homogenizer and cordless Portable SoniBeast-Jr.  These homogenizers process by wet-grinding the sample in extraction media and can be applied to microbial and animal tissue, as well as most types of plant tissue.  A drop of the homogenate produced by these devices is spotted on the BioSpec DNA Sample Card - stabilizing it for transportation to a central laboratory.

  • How It Works :

    A plant leaf is placed within the folds of the BioSpec DNA Sample Cardtm and the loaded Sample Card is magnetically docked between the jaws of the Mini Leaf Crusher. Manually tightening the Leaf Crusher generates a crushing force in excess of 1000 lbs/in2 on a quarter-inch diameter circular section of the plant leaf. The crushed plant cells are totally disrupted and the resultant cell lysate is captured on the cellulose filter paper located inside the Sample Card. The leaf is discarded and the Sample Card is folded closed and placed in a provided zip-lock polybag containing a pouch of desiccant. The sample extract, now preserved in a dried and stabilized state, is ready for transit to the laboratory for DNA analysis.

    On delivery to the lab, the preserved sample spot on the Sample Card's cellulose filter paper is punched out as a 1/4" diameter disk with a Leaf Punch or cut out of the Sample Card's cellulose filter paper in the shape of a dipstick and the DNA, RNA or protein of interest is eluted into an appropriate extraction medium. For an excellent research paper on the rapid and efficient recovery of purified DNA from cell lysates preserved on cellulose paper see Zou, PLoS Bio 15 (11), e2003916.

    Because the Mini Leaf Crusher crushes plant leaf samples without coming in direct contact with either the plant leaf or the preservative cellulose filter paper inside the DNA Sample Card, it can be reused repeatedly without the need for cleaning and decontamination. If needed, the leaf crusher can be hand washed with a detergent or briefly immersed in a 1 to 10 dilution of commercial household bleach. The Leaf Crusher should not be autoclaved or flame-sterilized.


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