plant physiology labs

Virginia Berg bergv at CHAOS.CNS.UNI.EDU
Mon Jan 18 15:47:58 EST 1999

In an effort to persuade students (and faculty) that plant physiology has
something to offer students interested in biotechnology, I am trying to add
some experiments to the labs in my plant physiology course.  Ideally they
would be part of a single grand experiment to last up to 12 weeks, mostly
spent waiting for the tissue to grow.  Listed below are some of the things I
would like to include.  If we could do them with Fast Plants, we could get a
zillion seeds in a small space.  Does anyone have labs already invented, or
suggestions for sources (human and text)?  

1. making protoplasts (I have not done this much, and never in a student lab
2. transforming cells (preferably with GFP, so detection is cheap)
3. growing and selecting transformants
4. tissue culture (maybe how to grow the transformed cells--we did this long
ago but stopped doing it as a lab)

I recently reviewed a lab exercise in which seeds, rather than tissue
chunks, were used for a tissue culture labs on the theory that it is easier
to sterilize seeds and start with them, rather than sterilizing tissue.  We
had a lot of contamination from the open air when we did tissue culture
before, so I am planning to put together some boxes to keep the air flow
down.   If there are plans out there (cheap ones, please), I'd like to get them.


--Gini Berg

To me it seems that all sciences are vain and full of errors that are not
born of experience, mother of all certainty.
--Leonardo da Vinci (1452-1519)

Virginia Berg  (bergv at
Biology Department 0421
University of Northern Iowa
Cedar Falls, IA 50614
(319) 273-2770 (phone), 273-2893 (fax)

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