Reflection: Classroom Setup Transforming Escherichia coli with a Recombinant Plasmid - Section 1: Introduction



A bacterial transformation lab is a test of skill and will for both students and instructors alike. You and your students will be insanely busy to the better you prep BEFORE the mayhem begins the better. Here are a few suggestions that I would like to share which may ensure that the limited lab time is most productive:

1. Create lab groups of no more than three students and be certain that each student is assigned a particular task. For example, when preparing for the heat shock in STEP 10 have one student be in charge of the ice bath and competent cells while another student grabs and labels the agar plates and yet another group member labels  the four 1.5mL microcentrifuge tubes. TEAMWORK truly makes the DREAMWORK!

2. Perform a couple of "dry runs" with empty agar plates in order for students to practice spreading cells. This task has to be done quickly so that the sterile medium is not contaminated with unwanted guests. Demonstrate the use of the "clam shell" technique of holding the plate over the agar plate while spreading.

3. When students have finished spreading their plates, turn all of the plates upside down, that is with the lids down, when placing the plates in the incubator. This will prevent condensation from forming on the lid and raining down on the bacteria as it attempts to grow on the surface of the agar.

  Nobel Prize Lab Teacher's Notes - Volume 4
  Classroom Setup: Nobel Prize Lab Teacher's Notes - Volume 4
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Transforming Escherichia coli with a Recombinant Plasmid

Unit 8: Nobel Prize-Winning Biotechnology
Lesson 4 of 9

Objective: Students will be able to use a technique called transformation to get their engineered recombinant plasmids into bacterial cells which will express novel genes inherited during this process.

Big Idea: The clever use of a rare event in nature will increase the chance of getting our recombinant plasmids into the bacterial cells, E.coli!

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2 teachers like this lesson
Science, Biotechnology, DNA Technology
  180 minutes
rfp transformation lab
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