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A practical workshop for generating simple DNA fingerprints of plants

Rouziere, Anne-Sophie and Redman, James Edward ORCID: 2011. A practical workshop for generating simple DNA fingerprints of plants. Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Education 39 (3) , pp. 204-210. 10.1002/bmb.20486

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Gel electrophoresis DNA fingerprints offer a graphical and visually appealing illumination of the similarities and differences between DNA sequences of different species and individuals. A polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and restriction digest protocol was designed to give high-school students the opportunity to generate simple fingerprints of plants thereby illustrating concepts and techniques in genetics and molecular biology. Three combinations of primers/restriction enzyme targeting chloroplast DNA were sufficient to generate patterns that enabled visual discrimination of plant species. The protocol was tested with a range of common fruit, vegetable, and herb plants that could be easily cultivated and handled in the laboratory. Toxic or hazardous materials such as ethidium bromide and liquid nitrogen were avoided. The protocol was validated as a university outreach workshop targeted at a group of up to 10 high-school students. In a teaching laboratory, students sampled plants, setup the PCR reaction and restriction digest using microliter pipettes, and loaded the digested samples on an agarose gel. The workshop was structured as 2 × 2.5-hour sessions on separate days. The main challenges stemmed from the speed and accuracy of pipetting, especially at the gel loading stage. Feedback from students was largely positive, with the majority reporting that they had both enjoyed and learnt from the experience. BIOCHEMISTRY AND MOLECULAR BIOLOGY EDUCATION Vol. 39, No. 3, pp. 204–210, 2011.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Chemistry
Subjects: Q Science > QD Chemistry
Uncontrolled Keywords: DNA ; Fingerprint ; Plant ; PCR : Restriction
Publisher: Wiley
ISSN: 1470-8175
Last Modified: 18 Oct 2022 12:23

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