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Abstract Detail


Teaching Section

Baker, Stokes S. [1].

Digital GFP expression assays are an effective tool for teaching quantitative experimental skills in first-year undergraduates.

To use red-shifted Green Fluorescent Protein (GFP) expressing plants in inquiry laboratory instruction, an quantitative assay using a digital SRL camera was developed. Standard curves with purified GFP protein produced linear responses in RAW file pixel intensities (r2 = 0.9881). A learning assessment study was conducted in a general biology laboratory course at the University of Detroit Mercy to compare the effectiveness in using quantitative fluorescent assays over qualitative histochemical β-glucuronidase (GUS) assay in teaching the scientific method. Undergraduates in seven course sections were asked to plan and conduct experiments to evaluate the specificity of environmentally regulated promoters. Four course sections used Arabidopsis thaliana containing the GFP reporter gene under the control of the Arabidopsis alcohol dehydrogenase (adh) promoter. Three course sections used plants containing the GUS reporter gene under the control of the Arabidopsis cor15a promoter. Students, working in groups of four, wrote short experimental plans that were critiqued by the course instructor. After completing their experiments, each student wrote a one page “miniposter” presenting their results. The posters were evaluated with a grading rubric. Statistical analysis of the rubric scores showed that students using the quantitative fluorescent assays were more likely to obtain a score above 70% (Χ2 = 4.65, p = 0.031), were more likely to use negative controls in their experiments (Χ2 = 7.92, p = 0.005), and were more likely to use statistical hypothesis tests in their data analysis (Χ2 = 3.92, p = 0.048). However, there was no statically significant difference in the frequency that students used positive controls in their experiments (Χ2 = 2.29, p = 0.130). These results indicate that using quantitative gene expression assays can be affectively used in inquiry laboratory curriculum.


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Abstract: Quantitative Inquiry Investigation with Plants Expressing Green Fluorescent Protein


1 - University of Detroit Mercy, Biology Department, 4001 W. McNichols Rd., Detroit, MI, 48221, USA

Keywords:
green fluorescent protein
Inquiry
Single reflex lens camera
Digital images
Undergraduates
cor15a
ADH
Arabidopsis thaliana
scientific method
statistics
Epifluorescent.

Presentation Type: Oral Paper:Papers for BSA Sections
Session: 36
Location: Superior A/Cliff Lodge - Level C
Date: Tuesday, July 28th, 2009
Time: 11:00 AM
Number: 36011
Abstract ID:902


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