Science Experiment~~Split Pea’s DNA

I usually can’t perform any of the experiment’s in my biology because they require a microscope and we don’t have one. However, the other day I was able to perform this one–and it worked!!

If you have extra time this week, I would highly recommend trying it out! It’s super neat.


Extracting DNA from peas

Supplies:

*Blender

*Toothpick

*Clear liquid hand soap or dish soap(The liquid hand soap works best, and colorless will work a bit better than soap that is tinted with a color.)

*Salt

*Water

*Strainer

*Small Glass (My note: I would use a flat bottom glass, not one that dips down, otherwise everything will float to the bottom if that makes any sense :)

* Meat tenderizer (Make sure it has been bought in the last year or so)

* Rubbing alcohol

*1/2 cup of split peas

*Measuring cups and spoons

*Flashlight

Object~~To extract DNA from peas so that you can see what DNA looks like on a mAcroscopic scale. (Not microscopic!! :D)

Procedure

1. Dissolve 1/4 teaspoon into one cup of water

2. Place peas and salt water into the blender and blend for 20 seconds. The result should have a consistency of thin pea soup (that is very disgusting, just so you know). The solution you have is a mixture of water, salt, and pea cells.

3. Hold the strainer over the small glass and slowly pour the contents of the blender into the strainer, allowing the liquid to drop into the small glass.

4. Add two tablespoons of the soap to the solution in the glass.

5. Slowly mix the liquid and the soap by swirling, and then let it sit for at least 10 minutes. The soap will dissolve the phospholipids in the plasma membrane of the pea cells. this will destroy the plasma membrane, opening the cells. The contents of the cells will then flow directly into the solution.

6. Add 1/4 teaspoon of meat tenderizer and mix very gently. The meat tenderizer has enzymes that destroy proteins. This is what tenderizes meat (A new fact I learned). In this experiment the tenderizer will destroy the proteins that coat the DNA, exposing DNA strands.

7. Slowly add as much rubbing alcohol as you have liquid (Not sure exactly what this was supposed to mean, but I just added a couple tablespoons; you can add more if the DNA doesn’t show up) . Do not stir! You want the alcohol to sit on top of the liquid. Wait for a few minutes, and you should see white strands appear on the layer of alcohol. To aid you in seeing the strands, shine the flashlight down onto the surface of the solution and look at the solution from the side of the glass. These strands are pea’s DNA!

8. Depending on your experimental techniques, the strands may be long enough for you to twist them onto a toothpick and remove them from the solution.

9. Clean up your mess.  This is the most important part, people. 🙂


Here are my results!

2015-03-04 16.58.54

If ya’ll do try it, take pictures and post them on your blog if you have one. I’d love to see your results!! 🙂

Naomi Rae

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