Rawlings, Daniel J. , Hill, Peter , Gutierrez, Benjamin , Martinez , Juan , Abreu, Shawn , Kopp, Olga .
Research in the classroom: Cloning and sequencing the GAPDH gene as a tool in the Plant Molecular Biology classroom.
The Glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate dehydrogenase (GAPDH) gene was sequenced in several plant species as part of teaching in the undergraduate laboratory classroom. The product of this gene catalyzes the sixth step of glycolysis and has also been implicated in non-metabolic processes. For example GAPDH moves between the cytosol and the nucleus and it is postulated to link metabolism and transcription. In addition the gene appears to be involved in vesicle transport from the ER to the Golgi. Furthermore, the gene appears to be also involved as a transcriptional activator in the initiation of apoptosis.All these functions make this gene a great tool for teaching undergraduates. This research analyzes the impact of hands-on learning in students' understanding of molecular biology. Students were involved in all the steps of the process of cloning and sequencing the genes. These included extraction of genomic DNA,amplification of the target sequence using nested-PCR, cloning of the gene, transformation of bacteria, preparation of the samples for sequencing and bioinformatics analysis. In addition, students were able to troubleshoot problems encountered during the experiment. The data shows that this approach increases students' confidence in basic laboratory techniques and increases their understanding of molecular biology concepts. This exercise not only taught students basic concepts, it taught them how to work in groups and collaborate with other students, a basic competence for any science major.
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1 - Utah Valley University, Biology, 800 West University Parkway, MS 179, Orem, UT, 84058-5999, USA
Presentation Type: Poster:Posters for Sections
Location: Battelle South/Convention Center
Date: Monday, July 9th, 2012
Time: 5:30 PM