In this lab students will investigate the genotypic basis of an observable phenotype using Rapid Cycling Brassica rapa (RCBr), also known by the trademark name Wisconsin Fast Plants® (Note: RCBr seeds necessary to complete the lab may be obtained from Carolina Biological.)
Wild-type plants grow with a distinctive purple stem, best observed in the first few days after germination. This purple color is due to the presence of anthocyanin, a common plant pigment. In some RCBr plants, however, a mutation disrupts the anthocyanin production pathway and leads to green stems with no purple color.
The gene responsible for the purple vs. green color is named Anthocyaninless because the mutant form leads to decreased production of the pigment anthocyanin. Using classical crossing techniques, these alleles can be tracked over generations with predictable results. In this lab, you will test the Anthocyaninless gene from different plants for the presence of the mutation that differentiates the purple vs. green stem alleles.
In this way, students will be able to directly link an organism’s phenotype to its genotype.
- Techniques utilized: DNA extraction from plant tissues, Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR), DNA gel electrophoresis.
- Time required: can be completed in two 45 min. class periods or a single 2-hour block.
- Reagents needed: ‘miniPCR™ Plant Genetics Lab’ reagents kit (included in this product), electrophoresis reagents (available separately), Rapid Cycling Brassica rapa (RCBr) seeds (available from Carolina Biological)
Suggested skill level: Intended for any student seeking familiarity with PCR, DNA gel electrophoresis, Mendelian inheritance, plant genetics, from middle school to college.
The miniPCR Plant Genetics Lab kit contains reagents for 8 lab groups of up to 4 students each (32 students):
- All molecular reagents needed (DPX DNA extraction buffer, primers, EZ PCR Master Mix containing dNTPs, polymerase, loading dye) and DNA ladder.
- Enough for 8 lab groups of 4 students with each group running four genotyping PCR reactions.
- Reagents are compatible with miniPCR™, blueGel™ or other standard PCR and DNA electrophoresis systems
- No plants are included in this lab. RCBr seeds necessary to complete the lab may be obtained from Carolina Biological.
- These reagents require frozen storage.
- Microtubes and electrophoresis reagents sold separately.
Free miniPCR Learning Lab™ downloads:
- miniPCR™ Plant Genetics Lab Teachers Guide
- miniPCR™ Plant Genetics Lab Student Guide
- miniPCR™ Plant Genetics Lab Classroom Slides
Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for answers key.
Fast Plants® is a registered trademark of the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation.