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dna extraction from peas

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An experiment investigating the extraction of DNA from peas. Introduction Deoxyribonucleic acid or its commonly known name DNA - is a molecule that contains our genes. It forms part of a chromosome and is only found inside the nucleus of a cell. Our DNA consists of units called nucleotides. Each consists of a 5-carbon sugar, deoxiyribose, a phosphate group and a nitrogenous base - adenine (a), cytosine (c), guanine (g) or thymine (t). The DNA molecule consists of 2 strands twisted together to form a double helix (almost like a twisted ladder). The phosphate and the sugar molecules make up the sides of the ladder, with the nitrogenous bases making up the steps of the ladder The genes hold all the instructions for making all the thousands of proteins that are found in a cell. It is these proteins, which determine what, the cell will look like and what jobs that particular cell will do. ...read more.


Method 1. 50g of garden peas were mashed with a pestle and mortar, adding a little of the extraction buffer (washing up liquid) to help with the mashing process. 2. Then the mashed peas were carefully transferred into the beaker containing the rest of the extraction buffer. 3. The beaker was then placed into a water bath at a temperature of 60�C for exactly 15 minutes. 4. The mixture in the beaker was then left standing on ice for two minutes and then mashed carefully with a pestle and mortar in small batches. 5. The mixture was then placed through coarse filter paper - to remove all of the cell debris. 6. 10ml of the filtrate was then poured into a test tube and 3 drops of protease was added. The test tube was then placed into ice to keep cold. 7. Then, using a pipette, 10ml of ice-cold ethanol was added down the side of the test tube - resulting in two distinct layers of liquid. ...read more.


The DNA of the pea is insoluble in freezing cold ethanol and will therefore precipitate into the upper ethanol layer via air bubbles. Evaluation If the experiment was to be repeated again, I would use a larger volume of peas, by doing so - it would result in a larger volume of DNA being extracted. Further investigations of DNA extraction could be carried out by using blood or any other food product, providing that health and safety issues are dealt with. If the DNA was to be extracted from the test tube, it could then be stained and examined further by using a technique called X-ray crystallography, as even the most powerful microscope is unable to detect any DNA image. (www. learn.genetics.utah.edu) Reference http://learn.genetics.utah.edu/content/labs/extraction/howto/faq.html (viewed 25/02/209) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DNA_extraction (viewed 25/02/209) http://library.thinkquest.org/19037/dna_extraction.html (viewed 25/02/209) http://ncbe.reading.ac.uk/NCBE/PROTOCOLS/PDF/PeaDNA.pdf (viewed 25/02/2009) Boyle, M., Senior, K., (Ed) (2002) Human biology. London: Harper Collins Publishers Class notes and worksheets ...read more.

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