Summer Research Program for Science Teachers

Bacterial Transformation

Ibrahim W. Sesay

Theodore Roosevelt High School, Bronx, NY


Topic: Bacterial Transformation

Aim: How can we make bacteria Amagically@ glow in UV light?

Grade Level: 10, 11, 12

Motivation: 1. Posters of actual transformation

2. The idea of actually growing bacteria -- Most of the students think of bacteria as germs that kill; they will be thrilled to see bacterial colonies.

3. They can make these bacterial colonies to Ashow them the light@ -- to glow in UV light.

4. The transformation kits are Acool.@

Genes (pieces of DNA) are responsible for the expression of traits -- Example, eye color, hair texture, the way we look, etc. [Content Standard C- Molecular basis of heredity]

Transformation: Occurs when a cell takes up a new piece of DNA and expresses that DNA. [Content Standard C- The cell]

Purpose of the Lab: What we are going to do is transform a strain of E. Coli bacteria with a genetically engineered DNA called pGLO plasmids. The pGLO plasmid causes the bacteria to:

1. Produce Green Fluorescent Protein (GFP) that glows in the UV light.

2. Grow in the presence of the antibiotic ampicillin.

Mention that without the antibiotic resistant gene, the bacteria will not grow in the presence of the antibiotic. [Content Standard E- Understandings about science/technology]

Materials: 1. Bio-Rad=s Transformation Kit

2. Easy to follow lab procedures.

3. Gloves, safety goggles

Students will work in pairs. The experiment will last for a period of three days of classes.


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