Extract DNA from a Strawberry

Strawberry DNA Supplies by Fran W

The following experiment will show you how to pull the DNA out of a strawberry.

To do this experiment, you will need…

1 Strawberry w/o leafy top (hull)
2 tsp Dish detergent
1/2 tsp Salt
1/4 c Water
8 oz Clear plastic cup
Rubbing alcohol (about a 1/4 c)
Coffee filter
Craft stick
Zip-top bag – sandwich size
Towel to clean hands

Optional: Magnifying glass, rubber band

What to do…

  • Put the strawberry in the zip-top bag, remove the air while closing the bag, and smash it into a puree. It takes about a minute to puree strawberry. Do not break or puncture the bag while smashing.
  • Put dish detergent, salt, and water into a plastic cup and mix with a craft stick.
  • When the strawberry is liquefied, pour detergent/salt/water mixture into the bag and, without making a lot of bubbles, swish everything around gently for about 30 seconds.
  • Put the coffee filter into the plastic cup, fold the filter over the top of the cup and use a rubber band to keep it in place. Leave about two inches of space between the filter and the bottom of the plastic cup.
  • Pour the liquid from the bag into the filter. You do not need to use all of the mixture. 
  • Carefully remove the rubber band and gently squeeze the liquid out of the filter without breaking it. Discard filter when finished, and use the towel to clean your hands.
  • Pour in as much alcohol as there is liquid into the cup (about 1/4 cup), and allow it sit for about 30 seconds. You can swirl the cup gently if you want to.
Extraction Results

If you use a clear cup, you will be able to see the two colors separately in the cup, and soon you’ll notice a swirling on top of the liquid, that’s the DNA making its way up to the top. After a minute, put your craft stick into the liquid, and pull out the strings of DNA.

Take a look at it with the magnifying glass and/or microscope.

What do you see? What does it feel like?

Tip: If you want to save the DNA, place it in a clean zip-top bag and refrigerate. It will keep for a while.

If you have all your supplies ready, you can do your experiment while watching the video below, which takes about 9 minutes to watch.

This activity is part the Strawberry Craze series.

Related posts on Fran’s World of Discovery:

A yummy and fun way to start the day or enjoy as an anytime treat.

Learn how to start your own strawberry plant from seeds and some of the interesting ways people grow them.

Find out how strawberries have been used over the centuries and make strawberry hull tea.

Learn about strawberries by using your senses.

More strawberry related activities can be found in my ebook Strawberry Craze. This 91 page ebook is filled with 30 strawberry-related activities and 15 yummy kid-friendly recipes. Click for more info.

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