I would like to ask a question where gardening overlaps with genetics ("Plant DNA barcoding as citizen science project?").

Is this something that is appropriate on this site or should I try Biology Stack Exchange (where I am currently not a member) instead?

Here is a first draft:

DNA barcoding can be used for identifying organisms (including plants) by inspecting their DNA for short genetic markers.

Is there any recommended recipe or writeup from which one can deduce whether it is feasible to conduct a citizen science project in this area and to estimate costs for a whole cycle (preparing plant material, sending it to lab, accessing databases, etc.)

2 Answers 2


I'd say that belongs on Biology Stack Exchange.

One of the items in our list of things not to ask about in the help center is:

  • plant biology, beyond what is generally gardening knowledge (try Biology instead);

And one of the items in Biology's list of allowed topics is:

  • questions about techniques in a biological or biochemical laboratory

While we no doubt have community members that are knowledgeable about molecular biology, I very much doubt that DNA sequencing is used in a gardening context anywhere at this time. We may have members that save seeds and select for traits in their plants, but they're doing it based on macroscopic traits of those plants, not on genetic markers in their DNA.


I suspect that in a general sense anything that requires detailed science based knowledge after the mid 20th century to explain is more suitable for biology and anything prior is suitable for gardening. Gardening is more the practical application of biological sciences without having to know the nitty gritty of why things work.

  • Hi Graham. I'm confused, which is not an uncommon state for me! I think I understand the gist of your post. However, I'm curious as to the choice of that time period, mid 20th century, as a criteria when deciding where a question is best suited. If you'd like to clarify that, I'd appreciate it. Thanks! Jun 2, 2016 at 18:08
  • @sue, sorry the answer was more intended as a joke, and not a real answer! :) Jun 2, 2016 at 18:10
  • Ooops, I missed that! My inability to read things clearly definitely gets me into trouble sometimes! Thanks for taking the time to respond, and so quickly! Jun 2, 2016 at 18:12

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