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Research Methods Students Learn about Bacteria

Dr. Maribel Gendreau
Research Methods students recently learned how bacteria can naturally take up DNA from their environment by transformation.
The students transformed bacteria by inserting a plasmid containing a gene that would allow the bacteria to survive in an antibiotic-containing media. The plasmid also contained a gene coding for a green fluorescent protein which if successfully introduced into the bacteria would be transcribed and translated into a protein showing a fluorescent green color. After calculating the transformation efficiency of the bacteria, students grew cultures and extracted the plasmid DNA from the bacteria for quantification using gel electrophoresis.