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Strawberry DNA Extraction Lab


Chummuang (First)


Daophiphatchai (Pleng)


Khamtan (Prim)


Boonchai (Praewa)


Itthpanyavorakul (Fah)
11 - 03

When we talk about DNA, the first thing that comes into mind is that DNA is related to
genetic or one of genetic materials that is essential for our lives or other living organisms.
Without DNA, we will not be able to function the body or to survive. The word DNA stands for
deoxyribonucleic acid, which occurs in the form of double helix. DNA shape is two spirals that
twist around each other; each of them is the backbone of the DNA which made up of
phosphates and sugar. There are four bases in DNA such as adenine (A), thymine (T), guanine
(G) and cytosine (C), where the spirals are connected. Each of the bases pair up together:
adenine with thymine and guanine with cytosine. The functions of the DNA is to store genetic
information of living organisms in order survive, grow, and function all processes inside the
body. In eukaryotes, DNA is stored in the nucleus, and for prokaryotes is in the cells cytoplasm.
Extraction is the process of helping to take the important part of the substance out by
using force or effort to proceed. For the benefits of DNA extraction include: plants, animals,
pharmaceuticals, medical diagnosis, and genetic verification. To get the DNA from a cell, the
scientists will need some materials to isolate the DNA. During the DNA extraction, a detergent
will cause a cell to pop open or become lysed, so that the DNA can be released into the
solution, then alcohol is added to the solution to cause the DNA to precipitate out.
For this experiment, the extraction process is collaborated with DNA in living organisms.
Strawberry represents a specimen in this experiment instead of other living organisms due to its
eight copies of genome characteristic.The purpose of this experiment was to complete the tasks
given by using our knowledge about DNA structure, interactions, and understand the properties
of the materials in order to complete the process of extraction. It also showed how DNA can be
extracted from organisms by isolating the DNA from strawberry to be seen with naked eye, and
how organisms develop themselves and function due to the DNA.

- 3 strawberries

Petri dish

Isopropyl alcohol (10 mL)

Dish detergent solution (25 mL)
Salt (1/4 spatula)
Water (18 mL)
Graduated cylinders (50mL)
Beakers (250 mL x1, 50mL x1)

Stirring rod
Zip-lock bag

1. Put the bottle of isopropyl alcohol in the freezer
2. Measure 18 mL of water with 50 mL graduated cylinder, then pour it into the
3. Pour dish detergent solution into the same beaker
4. Add spatula of salt into the same beaker
5. Mix the solution with stirring rod
6. Pour the solution from the beaker into the zip-lock bag that contained strawberry.
7. Seal the bag
8. Mix the strawberry with the solution until it becomes small pieces.
9. After mixing, pour it through cheesecloth into a 250 mL beaker.
10. Pour the solution into the 50 mL beaker and add 10 mL of isopropyl alcohol into
the same beaker.
11. Use the tweezers to remove the white substance on top of the solution.
12. Then place the substance onto the petri dish.
13. Record the result.

Picture 1 - The white goo of DNA starting to separate from its solution as layers formed.

Picture 2 - The white gooey DNA precipitate from the solution

The purpose of this experiment is to extract DNA from strawberries. In the first step, we
mash the strawberries to break down the cell wall of plant cells for the nucleus to be exposed.
Cell wall of plant cells are broken down by physical force. Then we poured the water to the
mashed strawberries through the cheesecloth in order to filter out the unneeded tissues of
strawberries. Water does not affect the process but to keep the DNA intact. After that, we added
dish soap into the solution to dissolve the phospholipid bilayers of the cell membrane and
organelles. In the fourth step, salt is added to the solution for the properties that it can create the
space where the DNA strands could gather together. In the last step, we added cold isopropyl
alcohol to precipitate the DNA as seen in picture 1, the DNA gathered onto the top of the
After done with the experiment, the result appears to be white goo or light pink sticky
mucus. It is not far from what we think because we have never seen the DNA before, but if
asked that the DNA in the result are single or double stranded, it would be surely double
stranded due to the characteristic of DNA with its hydrogen bond that could not be separated
except by the process of DNA denaturation which high temperature is required.
The result from our experiment is a white lump of DNA which a tiny single strand of DNA
cannot be seen with naked eye, even the light microscope cannot see the structure of the
extracted DNA. What we can see is only the massive amount of DNA that lumps together.
From the experiment, we learnt that DNA can be extracted from organisms cell and also
learnt its process. We can apply this extraction process in our real life. DNA extraction process
can be used on the human cells, extract the DNA to be used for other process such as
researching about the diseases in DNA and find a way to cure it.
Human DNA can also be extracted using the same protocol as our experiment. But in
humans, the DNA strands are not as much as the strawberries in each cell. Strawberries are
octoploid, which means they have eight copies of genome but humans have only one.
In this lab, we followed each step of the procedure carefully and produced no errors. For
the next lab, we could make use of some other tools that would give us the ability to observe the
DNA closely that the naked eye could not.

DNA of the strawberry is extracted and found to be mucus and pink. In this experiment,
we learnt the simple process to extract the DNA of Strawberries.
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from: http://www.whatisbiotechnology.org/science/extraction
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- Resteck, G. (2015). Squishy Science: Extract DNA from Smashed Strawberries.
[online] Scientificamerican.com. From: http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/squishyscience-extract-dna-from-smashed-strawberries/ Accessed 12th May 2015
- Seqcore.brcf.med.umich.edu, (2015). DNA Denaturation, Annealing and
Replication. [online] Available at:
Accessed 13 May 2015