For High School Teachers
  From DNA to Organism: A Study in DNA Function for the High School Biology Classroom

Modules 2: DNA and genes 

Teacher suggestions for Module 2: DNA extraction (Qiagen DNeasy Plant Mini-Kit) 


             2 blocks

     What you need to set up

  • Water bath(s) at 65°C
  • Ice bath(s)
  • Stations with different buffers/pipettes
  • Weighing station for plants
  • Liquid nitrogen
  • Centrifuge
  • AP1, RNAse, AP2, AP3, AW, and AE solutions
  • 1 x 1– 10ml pipette, 1 x 10– 100ml pipette, and 6 x 100– 1000ml pipettes

     What the students need

  • Gloves, goggles, and aprons
  • Plants from which to extract DNA
  • Mortar and pestle (It would be nice if students had two but they can use only one)
  • 4 x 2 ml microcentrifuge tube (Tubes of various colors can be used to help students keep track of the different tubes)
  • Fine-tip Sharpie marker to label the microcentrifuge tubes
  • Rack for microcentrifuge tubes
  • Purple tube from Qiagen (see Qiagen procedure) DNA extraction kit
  • White tube from Qiagen (see Qiagen procedure) DNA extraction kit
     Prelab 10 minutes

           The prelab for this lab consists of a review of the location of DNA within the cell and a discussion of some problems that may come up when extracting DNA from plant cells (cell wall, destructive enzymes, etc. ).  Of particular concern for the prelab for this DNA extraction protocol are the safety issues that go along with the use of liquid nitrogen.

     lab 90 minutes

           The lab itself consists of the students following the directions given to them. It is easiest to set up an assembly line for the room where the different pipetting stations are prearranged and the students only need to work their way down the line (see diagrams on following page).


           The post lab for this section consists of clean up and preparation of the samples for use the next day.


           There is no homework for this part of the module.