DNA Extraction from Wheat Germ

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DNA is the thread of life. Encoded in its genetic sequence is the information that makes each of us unique. This activity allows you to see long, stringy strands of DNA extracted from wheat germ. Extracting DNA from raw wheat germ may sound difficult, but this experiment can be performed with materials found in your local grocery or hardware stores. This is a simplified version of the same technique routinely used by research scientists to isolate DNA. [Activity is publicly available through a web crawler capture on Archive.org.]

Quick Guide

Preparation Time:
10 to 30 minutes

Learning Time:
10 to 30 minutes

Estimated Materials Cost:
$1 - $5 per group of students

Age Range:
Ages 8 - adult

Resource Types:
Activity, Experiment/Lab Activity


Materials List (per group of students)

  • wheat germ
  • distilled water
  • liquid hand soap
  • meat tenderizer
  • baking soda
  • plastic cup
  • alcohol (either 70% isopropanol or 95% denatured alcohol)
  • measuring spoons
  • mixing spoon
  • glass stirring rod
  • plastic dropper
  • 100 ml graduated cylinder
  • 15 ml plastic tube


  • Life Sciences
    • Heredity and Genetics
      • DNA Structure and Function

Informal Categories

  • Food and Cooking


To use this activity, learners need to:

  • see
  • read
  • touch

Learning styles supported:

  • Involves hands-on or lab activities


Access Rights:

  • Limited free access



  • , Science Museum of Minnesota, 2010

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