Moraine Valley Extraction of DNA From Split Pea Experiment Process

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In this exercise, you will extract and observe DNA from split peas.



Note: The night before beginning the experiment, place the 91% isopropyl alcohol into a freezer to chill. The entire bottle may be placed in the freezer without harming the bottle or its contents. If a freezer is not available, place alcohol bottle in an ice-bath at least 3 hours before beginning the experiment.


Note: If a blender is not available, a mortar and pestle may be used and the split peas must be soaked overnight in distilled water.


  1. Break down the pea tissues with a blender or by hand with a mortar and pestle. Use 1 of the following 2 methods:

Blender Method

  • Retrieve the split peas and 2 salt packets from the kit.
  • Add the split peas and both salt packets into the blender.
  • Measure 1 cup of cold water and add it to the blender.
  • Place the lid onto the blender and blend the split peas, water, and salt mixture on the high setting for approximately 30 seconds.

Mortar and Pestle Method

  • Retrieve the split peas from the kit.
  • Measure 1 cup of distilled water and pour it into 1 of the drinking glasses.
  • Add the split peas to the drinking glass with the distilled water and use the spoon to mix the peas with the distilled water.
  • Allow the split peas to soak overnight in the distilled water.
  • After the split peas have soaked overnight, use the spoon to transfer them into the mortar. Try to transfer as little of the distilled water into the mortar as possible.
  • Gather a second clean drinking glass and add ½ cup of distilled water and the 2 salt packets.
  • Use the stirring rod to fully mix the salt into the water until it is completely dissolved.
  • Use the spoon to transfer the salty water into the mortar until it is ½ full. See Figure

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