Introduction: How to Extract DNA From Strawberry

Picture of How to Extract DNA From Strawberry

Here's how to extract DNA from a strawberry. You don't need to be a professional scientist to do this, and you probably have most of the materials at home!

You will need:
- 2 plastic cups (should hold at least a 16oz)
- 1/2 cup icy cold water
- Soap (dish soap, hand soap, or detergent)
- Salt
- 1 large, cold strawberries
- Cold 70% isopropyl alcohol
- Plastic, sealable bag
- Mixing stick
- Coffee filter

Step 1: Make the Extraction Solution

Picture of Make the Extraction Solution

1: Put 1/2 cup ice cold water in cup
2: Add 1/2 teaspoon of salt
3: Add 2 teaspoons liquid soap
4: GENTLY mix, careful not to create bubble but dissolve the salt

The salt will break apart the proteins and other things that come out of the strawberry cells. The soap will melt the cell walls because the walls are made of lipids (or fats). Just like doing dishes, soap melts away the grease and fat.

Set solution aside

Step 2: Strawberry Smash!

Picture of Strawberry Smash!

Remove the leaves and core of the strawberry. Put the strawberry into a sealable plastic bag. Firmly smash the strawberry with your fingers. Do this for 2 minutes so there is no big chunks left.

Pour in the extraction solution, remove as much air as possible, seal bag and gently squish the bag for 2 minutes. Let the bag sit for 8 minutes to let the soap and salt extract the DNA from the cells.

Step 3: Filtering

Picture of Filtering

Rubber band a coffee filter onto the cup and pour in the mixture from the bag. Take off the rubber band, grab the filter into a sack, and GENTLY GENTLY GENTLY squeeze. If you squish too hard the filter will break and the strawberry mush will go into the cup.

Swirl the cup a few times again being carefully not to create bubbles. Pour the icy cold isopropyl alcohol into a cup. Tilt the strawberry liquid cup to the side and SLOWLY pour the isopropyl into in cup. Pour about 3/4 inch of isopropyl.

Step 4: Look at the DNA

Picture of Look at the DNA

Since the isopropyl is lighter than water, it will float on top of water. Let the moisture sit for 20 minutes and you will see stringy white stuff on the surface. That stuff is the DNA!!!

Take a toothpick or your mixing stick and you can pull the DNA up. It will look like sticky snot. Those thin strands of white are hundreds of strands of long DNA.

If you want, gently spool up the DNA and put it into a test tube or shot glass with some isopropyl in it. You can show you're friends if you want! :D

Comments

cacj131 (author)2015-06-25

Wow. Now I can make a living fruit by putting strawberry dna eith pig dna or something like that. Really cool though!

OutsideBuilds (author)2015-06-12

No, you don't need any special equipment. I used simple things found in the kitchen. The mixing stick I just broke off of a balsa wood strip.

OutsideBuilds (author)2015-06-12

You would need an electron microscope too see the DNA. If someone you know has one or if there is a place with microscopes you can check it out! :)

DonCesare (author)2015-06-12

Awesome! Clear and precise. But, how can I make sure it is actually DNA? Not that I am doubting your knowledge, I just want to know the procedures afterwards. Can I verify on a microscope? Do I need specific equipment? I am totally new to genetics and I always found it fascinating. Thank you for your great ible and information. Well done!!!

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