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DNA Transformation of Bacteria: Ampicillin Resistance

Genes control the traits that living organisms possess. Bacteria, such as E. coli, have genes on their chromosome and on a small circular piece of DNA called a plasmid. Genes can be transferred from one bacteria to another on the plasmid by a process known as transformation.

In this experiment, a plasmid with a gene (DNA) for resistance to the antibiotic ampicillin will be used to transfer the resistance gene into a susceptible strain of the bacteria. The same technique is used to transfer genes (DNA) for the production of insulin, growth hormones, and other proteins into bacteria.

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Grade Levels

High School

Time Required

3 class periods, including incubation time

Related Resources

Previous workshop participants may request free lab supplies.