Have science fun by extracting DNA from a strawberry. DNA is in the cells of every living thing and is found in structures cell called chromosomes. Discover these building blocks of life in your kitchen.
This activity needs adult supervision
With this science experiment you will see the white threads of DNA. Strawberries are an excellent choice for extracting DNA because they are easy to squash and contain enzymes that help to break down cell walls. Strawberries also octoploid which means they have eight copies of each chromosome, so there is more DNA.
- 2 large strawberries
- Table salt
- Methylated spirits
- Warm water
- Dishwashing liquid
- 100ml beaker or measuring cup
- 2 large jars or cups
- 1 zip lock bag
- 1 piece paper towel
- 1 elastic band
- 2 wooden stirrers
- 2 small clear containers
- Make a DNA extracting solution by combining mix together 2 teaspoons of detergent, 1 teaspoon of salt and 1/2 cup of water in a beaker or cup.
- Place the strawberries in a zip lock bag removing most of the air before you seal the bag.
- Mash the strawberry through the bag in your hand.
- Add 2 tablespoons of the DNA extracting solution.
- Mix the DNA extracting solution in the bag with the mashed strawberries.
- Place paper towel over the the opening of the jar or cup. Secure it with a rubber band.
- Carefully pour the strawberry mixture into the cup making sure to catch the pulp in the filter paper or paper towel.
- Remove the filter paper or paper towel with the strawberry pulp.
- Add the same amount methylated spirits to the strawberry mixture.
- Observe the line between the strawberry mixture and the alcohol. The white threads appearing at this line is the strawberry DNA. The DNA will clump together and float to the top of the alcohol layer.