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DNA DRY LAB

Susan Offner



Type of Activity:

  • Hands-on

Target Audience:

  • Biology
  • Advanced/AP Biology
  • Genetics

Abstract:

This lab illustrates how the order of nucleotides in DNA determines the order of amino acids in proteins. It reinforces the concept that any change in the order of nucleotides can change the order of amino acids in proteins.

Background Information:

To do this exercise, students will need a copy of the genetic code. In advanced classes, you may want the students to draw structural formulas of the amino acid chain in the activity. In this case, students will need a copy of the structural formulas for the 20 amino acids found in proteins. This lab was first published by Susan Offner as part of an article entitled "Teaching Biology around Themes: Teach Proteins & DNA Together" in the American Biology Teacher 54(2): 93-101.


Lesson Plan

Student Activity:

The following is the base sequence on one strand of a DNA molecule:

A A T G C C A G T G G T T C G C A C

  1. Give the base sequence of the complementary DNA strand.
  2. Draw this DNA molecule.
  3. Give the base sequence of the strand of mRNA read from the original DNA strand.
  4. Draw this RNA molecule.
  5. What protein fragment would this mRNA code for?
  6. If the fourth nucleotide in the original DNA strand were changed from G to C, what would the resulting mRNA look like?
  7. What would the resulting protein look like?
  8. If a G were added to the original DNA strand after the 3rd nucleotide, what would the resulting mRNA look like?
  9. What would the resulting protein look like?
  10. If the 8th nucleotide in the original DNA strand were changed from G to C, what would the resulting mRNA look like?
  11. What would the resulting protein look like?

Answer Sheet:

The following is the base sequence on one strand of a DNA molecule:

A A T G C C A G T G G T T C G C A C

  1. Give the base sequence of the complementary DNA strand.
    • T T A C G G T C A C C A A G C G T G

  2. Draw this DNA molecule.

  3. Give the base sequence of the strand of mRNA read from the original DNA strand.
    • U U A C G G U C A C C A A G C G U G

  4. Draw this RNA strand.

  5. What protein fragment would this mRNA code for ?
    • leucine arginine serine proline serine valine

  6. If the fourth nucleotide in the original DNA strand were changed from G to C, what would the resulting mRNA look like?
    • U U A G G G U C A C C A A G C G U G

  7. What would the resulting protein look like?
    • leucine glycine serine proline serine valine

  8. If a G were added to the original DNA strand after the 3rd nucleotide, what would the resulting mRNA look like?
    • U U A C C G G U C A C C A A G C G U G

  9. What would the resulting protein look like?
    • leucine proline valine threonine lysine arginine

  10. If the 8th nucleotide in the original DNA strand were changed from G to C, what would the resulting mRNA look like?
    • U U A C G G U G A C C A A G C G U G

  11. What would the resulting protein look like?
    • leucine arginine


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