How to extract DNA from a strawberry

How to extract DNA from a strawberry

When Dr Robbie Rae, a lecturer in genetics at LJMU, showed us how to extract DNA, we were astonished at how easy it was.

So what’s happening?

Adding the detergent to the crushed strawberries causes the strawberry cells to pop open, or lyse, releasing the DNA into the solution. The salt creates an environment where the different DNA strands clump together. Adding alcohol causes the DNA to precipitate out of the liquid.

A single strand of DNA is too small to see with the naked eye but the DNA is visible in this experiment because it clumped together.

Why use strawberries?

Although they are lovely with cream, strawberries are also pretty useful when it comes to DNA extraction experiments. Each cell of a strawberry has eight copies of the genone which produces quite a substantial amount of DNA per cell. Perfect for extracting.

Interested in biology? Find out what you’ll study on the BSc Biology course at LJMU.


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