Frederick Griffith first discovered transformation in 1928 when he observed that living cultures of a normally non-pathogenic strain of Streptococcus pneumonia were able to kill mice, but only after being mixed with a heat-killed pathogenic strain. Because the non-pathogenic strain had been “transformed” into a pathogenic strain, he named this transfer of virulence “transformation.” In 1944, Oswald Avery and his colleagues purified DNA, RNA and protein from a virulent strain of S. pneumonia to determine which was responsible for transformation. Each component was mixed each with a non-pathogenic strain of bacteria. Only those recipient cells exposed to DNA became pathogenic. These transformation experiments not only revealed how this virulence is transferred but also led to the recognition of DNA as the genetic material.
Edvotek at Home
Transformation: Exploring Biotechnology With GFP - Transformation is when bacteria acquire exogenous DNA from the environment. In the laboratory, scientists can harness this technique to turn bacteria into protein production machines. This resource is specific for the EdvoKit 303: Exploring Technology with GFP, but it’s also adaptable for any transformation exercise you’d like your students to explore. Simply change plasmid to create a multitude of possible lessons. If you would like your students to focus on transformation, and not the accompanying extraction and purification of GFP, use only the first half of the student guide.
Edvotek Live Stream Demonstrations
Edvotek® YouTube Live Stream - Harnessing the Beauty of Bacteria - At the intersection of art, science, and technology is Bio-Art, the creation of works of art using living matter. One common way to create Bio-Art uses bacteria transformed with DNA codes for brightly-colored proteins. Watch Dr. Danielle Snowflack as she discusses the ways to create our "Bio-Paints" using bacterial transformation and culture techniques. Ways to exhibit your Bio-Art will be discussed!
- Edvotek® YouTube Live Stream Video - Harnessing the Beauty of Bacteria
- Edvotek® YouTube Live Stream Slides - Harnessing the Beauty of Bacteria
Edvotek® YouTube Live Stream - Transformation: Tips & Tricks for AP® Biology Exploration 8 - Watch as Dr. Danielle Snowflack explores the biological process of bacterial transformation using E. coli and plasmid DNA, discusses our NEW and IMPROVED transformation protocol, and shares some tips and tricks for success. An optional extension uses the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) to analyze your transformation, amping up your biotech lesson.
Additional Resources for EDVO-Kit #303
These resources are complementary to the teaching of EDVO-Kit #303 Exploring Biotechnology with Green Fluorescent Protein (GFP).
Exploring STEAM with Transformation - Transforming bacteria with plasmids that express brightly colored or fluorescent proteins is an unforgettable way to teach the central dogma of molecular biology. Why not take it a step further and see the art your students can create using their transformed bacteria? We’ll review tips and tricks to maximize classroom success and also ask you to dust off your painting skills!
Printable Word Puzzles
Instructional Videos -
Printable Coloring Pages
Plasmid Maps -