Taking the Mystery Out of DNA: Extracting DNA from Strawberries

Students will explore how scientists isolate deoxyribonucleic acid, DNA, from the strawberry.  The activity provides the students with a hands-on approach to DNA isolation.  They will learn how cells can be broken open and how the DNA can be separated from the rest of the cellular biological molecules.  Although students may recognize DNA as being the genetic material and that it can be used in forensics to identify a killer, most are not exposed to what DNA looks like.  This activity brings DNA to life! 

Taking the Mystery Out of DNA: Extracting DNA from Strawberries (PDF)


Intended Audience








Learning Objectives

Upon completion of this activity, the students will be able to:

  1. explain the difference between prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells.
  2. explain some differences in cellular structure between animal cells and plant cells.
  3. explain the structure of deoxyribonucleic acid, DNA.
  4. carry out the breakage of cells to release cellular components.
  5. carry out the separation of DNA from other cellular components.


Student Background

Students will need a general understanding of the structure of DNA and cellular structure.



biotechnology, recombinant DNA, genetic engineering, deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA), plant cells, DNA extraction, precipitate, hydrogen bonding


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