Molecular biologists use bacteria as “gene factories” to generate large amounts of DNA in their research. They genetically engineer the bacteria to carry and generate copies of a gene of interest contained within a small “satellite chromosome” called a plasmid. When the time comes to harvest the fruits of the labours, they use a technique called an alkaline lysis mini-plasmid preparation (mini-prep for short) to purify the plasmids containing the gene they want. In this exercise, you will perform a mini-prep on bacterial cultures and demonstrate the presence of the plasmid containing a gene of interest using a restriction digest and agarose gel electrophoresis.

Brief (one page) Protocol

View the online manual in the section below or download .pdf, 700kb

Risk assessments

  • Working in a PC2 Laboratory Risk Assessment [download .pdf 204kb]
  • DNA Electrophoresis Risk Assessment [download .pdf - 350KB]
  • Bacterial Risk Assessment [download .pdf - 352KB]
  • Use of Centrifuge Risk Assessments [download .pdf 288kb]

Supplementary information