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9th Grade Biology 2015-DNA Extraction

Extracting DNA from Anything Living


Provide understanding of components of DNA and how they can be extracted from
living cells.

Students will become familiar with components of DNA, how they work and why
they are vital to cell replication and cell division.

We will extract the DNA from peas. Peas, just like every other living plant and
organism, contains DNA. In order to see this DNA with the human eye, we must
demonstrate a series of steps.


cup of split peas

1/8 teaspoon table salt
1 cup cold water
Measuring cup
2 tablespoons of liquid detergent
Test tube
Enzyme powder (meat tenderizer)
Rubbing alcohol (70%-95% isopropyl or ethyl alcohol)
Stirring rod

Step 1:

Put your ingredients of split peas, salt, and cold water into blender and blend on
high for 15 seconds. The blender will separate the pea cells from each other, so you
now have a really think pea-cell soup.

Step 2:

Pour your thin pea-cell soup through a strainer into measuring cup. Add liquid
detergent and swirl to mix. Allow mixture to sit for about 5-10 minutes. Pour the
mixture into test tube about 1/3 full.

Step 3:

Add a pinch of enzymes, or meat tenderizer to your test tube. Take your stirring rod
and SLOWLY stir your solution. Be careful, if you stir too quickly or hard, you could
damage your DNA and the experiment will not work.

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9th Grade Biology 2015-DNA Extraction

Step 4:
Tilt your test tube and slowly pour rubbing alcohol into tube down the side so that it
forms a layer on top of the pea mixture. Pour until you have about the same amount
of alcohol in the tube as pea mixture. Alcohol is less dense than water, so it floats
on top. Look for clumps of white stringy material where the water and alcohol layers

What is that stringy stuff?

DNA is a long, stringy molecule. The salt that you added in step one helps it stick
together. So what you see are clumps of angled DNA molecules! DNA normally stays
dissolved in water, but when salty DNA comes in contact with alcohol it becomes
undissolved. This is the called precipitation. The physical force of the DNA clumping
together as it precipitates, pulls more strands along with it as it rises into the
alcohol. You can use a wooden stick or a straw to collect the DNA. If you want to
save your DNA, you can transfer it to a small container filled with alcohol.
You have just complete DNA Extraction! Our DNA would look very similar to what
you have just done! Isnt biology amazing? We were all created so complex and

Students will complete a worksheet, describing what happened to the plant and its
DNA at each step of the experiment. This will provide information on whether or not
the student understood the process of extracting DNA.

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