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ERIC Number: EJ846413
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2005
Pages: 12
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 29
ISSN: ISSN-1536-7509
An Inexpensive Gel Electrophoresis-Based Polymerase Chain Reaction Method for Quantifying mRNA Levels
Bradford, William D.; Cahoon, Laty; Freel, Sara R.; Hoopes, Laura L. Mays; Eckdahl, Todd T.
Cell Biology Education, v4 n2 p157-168 Sum 2005
In order to engage their students in a core methodology of the new genomics era, an everincreasing number of faculty at primarily undergraduate institutions are gaining access to microarray technology. Their students are conducting successful microarray experiments designed to address a variety of interesting questions. A next step in these teaching and research laboratory projects is often validation of the microarray data for individual selected genes. In the research community, this usually involves the use of real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR), a technology that requires instrumentation and reagents that are prohibitively expensive for most undergraduate institutions. The results of a survey of faculty teaching undergraduates in classroom and research settings indicate a clear need for an alternative approach. We sought to develop an inexpensive and student-friendly gel electrophoresis-based PCR method for quantifying messenger RNA (mRNA) levels using undergraduate researchers as models for students in teaching and research laboratories. We compared the results for three selected genes measured by microarray analysis, real-time PCR, and the gel electrophoresis-based method. The data support the use of the gel electrophoresis-based method as an inexpensive, convenient, yet reliable alternative for quantifying mRNA levels in undergraduate laboratories. (Contains 4 tables and 4 figures.)
American Society for Cell Biology. 8120 Woodmont Avenue Suite 750, Bethesda, MD 20814-2762. Tel: 301-347-9300; Fax: 301-347-9310; E-mail:; Website:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A