ERIC Number: EJ1180789
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2018
Abstractor: As Provided
From Gene to Structure: "Lactobacillus Bulgaricus" D-Lactate Dehydrogenase from Yogurt as an Integrated Curriculum Model for Undergraduate Molecular Biology and Biochemistry Laboratory Courses
Lawton, Jeffrey A.; Prescott, Noelle A.; Lawton, Ping X.
Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Education, v46 n3 p270-278 May-Jun 2018
We have developed an integrated, project-oriented curriculum for undergraduate molecular biology and biochemistry laboratory courses spanning two semesters that is organized around the "ldhA" gene from the yogurt-fermenting bacterium "Lactobacillus bulgaricus," which encodes the enzyme d-lactate dehydrogenase. The molecular biology module, which consists of nine experiments carried out over eleven sessions, begins with the isolation of genomic DNA from "L. bulgaricus" in yogurt and guides students through the process of cloning the "ldhA" gene into a prokaryotic expression vector, followed by mRNA isolation and characterization of recombinant gene expression levels using RT-PCR. The biochemistry module, which consists of nine experiments carried out over eight sessions, begins with overexpression of the cloned ldhA gene and guides students through the process of affinity purification, biochemical characterization of the purified "LdhA" protein, and analysis of enzyme kinetics using various substrates and an inhibitor, concluding with a guided inquiry investigation of structure-function relationships in the three-dimensional structure of "LdhA" using molecular visualization software. Students conclude by writing a paper describing their work on the project, formatted as a manuscript to be submitted for publication in a scientific journal. Overall, this curriculum, with its emphasis on experiential learning, provides hands-on training with a variety of common laboratory techniques in molecular biology and biochemistry and builds experience with the process of scientific reasoning, along with reinforcement of essential transferrable skills such as critical thinking, information literacy, and written communication, all within the framework of an extended project having the look and feel of a research experience.
Descriptors: Molecular Biology, Undergraduate Study, College Science, Biochemistry, Science Laboratories, Genetics, Science Experiments, Laboratory Experiments, Hands on Science, Educational Technology, Computer Software
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A