Using Pcr And Gel Electrophoresis To Determine Genotype

772 words - 3 pages

Using PCR and Gel Electrophoresis to Determine Genotype

In certain situations, it is necessary to identify DNA retreived from a sample. When there is a
small sample in need of identification, Polymerase Chain Reactions are used to multiply the DNA
in the sample in to many identical samples. The DNA retrieved from the reaction can then be
imported into an aparatus using gel electrophoresis to compare the sample of DNA to other
samples. In our experiment we learned the how to replicate tiny samples of DNA into usable
amounts and how to analyze the specimine using gel electrophoresis. The samples of DNA were
obtained by plucking individual hairs from students' heads and using the PCR device to replicate
the DNA from the roots of the hair. The replicated DNA samples were then placed into the
electrophoresis gel and the device was turned on. Using the methods discussed above we found
that three of the fourteen samples, 21%, were homozygous and the remaining eleven samples,
79%, were heterozygous. We concluded that it is possible to examine small amounts of DNA by
first replicating the sample using Polymerase Chain Reactions then using gel electrophoresis to
determine the genotype of the DNA.

The main goal for our experiment was to learn how to examine DNA when there is only a small
sample present. We examined the samples of DNA obtained from student hair using the
replication method of Polymerase Chain Reaction and the inspection method of gel
electrophoresis. The way the PCR method works is by first mixing a solution containing the
DNA, DNA polymerase primers, and certain nucleotides. Next, the solution is heated to allow
the strands to seperate, then cooled to allow the primers in the solution to bind to the strands.
The last step occours when the DNA polymerase extends each 31 end of the primer (Campell,
1999). This process results in exact coppies of DNA molecules. The amplified samples of DNA
were placed into the gel electrophoresis aparatus where we were able to see if the sample of DNA
was heterozygous or homozygous. It is important for us to be able to replicate and examine
DNA. In the event of violent crimes, small samples such as hair, skin, seamen, blood, or urine can
give investigators a sort of genetic fingerprint of the criminal....

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