By transforming cells with a plasmid containing a gene for green fluorescent protein, students understand that changing an organism’s genotype can result in a remarkably different phenotype. Students insert a jellyfish gene into laboratory-safe bacteria and induce production of a green fluorescent protein. Students understand the power of this technology and discuss the economic and social ramifications of recombinant DNA technology. This activity will allow you to teach about gene regulation and transcriptional activation. The GFP plasmid makes a neon green fluorescent protein that can be seen under UV light.
Beginner Lab: This lesson is appropriate for any biology or biotechnology class.