Bacterial Transformation with Gene Regulation

Bacterial Transformation with Gene Regulation Lab Introduction
In this lesson students explore genetic engineering through bacterial transformation of the pQuince plasmid producing fluorescent green bacterial colonies. The green protein gene is inducible, meaning that it can be “turned on or off” and is under the control of the araBAD operon promoter. Successful fluorescent transformants only grow in the presence of ampicillin and arabinose providing the opportunity to discuss the role of gene regulation in protein expression.
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    This lab is an opportunity for hands on exploration of genetic engineering. It introduces the role of promoters, transcription factors, and variability of gene expression and can be used to explore topics ranging from recombinant DNA and the relationship between genes and traits.

    In addition to green (pQuince), BABEC also has a red (pApple) and orange (pKumquat) plasmid. Please ask us if you have any questions regarding alternate colors and how to order.

Lesson Resources
Student Guide – Download and edit student worksheets to be completed during the Bacterial Transformation Lab.
Lesson Slides – Articulates with the student guide above and accompanying lesson plans below.
Lesson Plan – Suggested times for pacing, sequence and activities for the lab. Includes vocabulary tool, background information, etc.

Lab Resources
Student Lab Protocol – Students follow these instructions when doing the Bacterial Transformation Lab.
Preparing the Classroom for the Lab – How to set up group stations for this lab experience.
Inventory Guide – Reagents and materials checklist for one classroom kit. Includes equipment and classroom needs for the lab.

– Use the process of bacterial transformation
to introduce a fluorescent jellyfish gene into
E. coli bacteria
– Define “genetic engineering” and describe
examples of genetically modified organisms
– Explain what happens inside a transformed
bacteria to produce a new trait using
cause-and-effect language and by creating
a scientific model

Disciplinary Core Ideas:
LS1.A – Structure and Function
“…genes are regions in the DNA that contain the instructions that code for the formation of proteins.”
LS3.A – Inheritance of Traits
“…genes (expressed) by the cell may be regulated in different ways…”

Science and Engineering Practices:
Developing and Using Models
Constructing Explanations

  • Students explain how bacterial transformation leads to a new trait by creating a graphic model and writing using cause-and-effect language

Crosscutting Concepts:
Systems and System Models

  • Bacterial transformation is a model for manipulation of gene expression in genetic engineering

Familiarity with the following biology concepts may be helpful for students prior to using the lesson resources.
– Structure and function of DNA
– Relationship between genes and the
proteins they code for
– Bacteria as a model organism
– Basic role of antibiotics
Kitty MeiBacterial Transformation with Gene Regulation