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Abstract Detail

Teaching Section

Kleinschmidt, Ann [1], Alexas, Noel [1].

Plant peroxidases: a semester long research project in a molecular biology class.

A semester long research project has been developed that exposes undergraduate students in the laboratory component of a Molecular Biology class to bioinformatics, cDNA cloning, sequence analysis, and real-time PCR. Each group of students in the class is provided an accession number for a class III peroxidase from Arabidopsis thaliana and they use this to locate the cDNA sequence in the TAIR database. This cDNA sequence is used to perform a BLAST search against a Brassica rapa EST database. From the EST sequence they design a primer for cDNA synthesis. Using 3'-RACE. students then synthesize cDNA using this primer, clone the cDNA, and submit the cDNA for sequencing. Students use the resulting sequence to do further BLAST homology searches, both at the nucleic acid and protein levels, and use Biology Workbench to obtain sequence alignments. In addition to the work in bioinformatics, students use the sequence to design primers for analysis of mRNA levels in different tissues of Brassica rapa FastPlants using real-time PCR. Students use the data gathered during the semester long project to write a primary literature style paper. Undergraduate students have been integral members in the development of the semester long project, trouble shooting and fine tuning protocols to be used in the course, as well as development of in class exercises to facilitate understanding of the techniques used as well as to help in understanding how the different techniques connect to allow completion of this project. Conclusions about the positive and negative components of this semester long laboratory will be presented as well as suggestions of how part or all of this type of research module might be incorporated into other teaching laboratories.

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1 - Allegheny College, Biology and Biochemistry, 520 N Main St, Meadville, PA, 16433, USA

science teaching
molecular approach
college biology.

Presentation Type: Poster:Posters for BSA Sections
Session: P2
Location: Event Tent/Cliff Lodge
Date: Tuesday, July 28th, 2009
Time: 5:30 PM
Number: P2TS004
Abstract ID:783