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Extracting DNA from a Banana

Source Institutions

    American Society for Microbiology

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Extracting DNA from a Banana

Learners extract DNA from a banana. The procedure requires only basic lab equipment (i.e. beaker, test tube) and chemicals (i.e. liquid soap, meat tenderizer, ethanol). This activity is most appropriate for learners in grades 5-8. With slight modifications, this activity is appropriate for younger learners as well.

Quick Guide

Preparation Time:
10 to 30 minutes

Learning Time:
45 to 60 minutes

Estimated Materials Cost:
1 cent - $1 per student

Age Range:
Ages 4 - 14

Resource Types:
Activity, Experiment/Lab Activity, Lesson/Lesson Plan


Materials List (per student)

  • Fresh banana piece (about 2cm cube)
  • Mortar & pestle (or spoon)
  • 2 beakers (150-250 ml sizes) If no beakers are available, clear plastic drinking cups can be substituted
  • Graduated cylinders--10 ml & 100 ml
  • Cheesecloth
  • Solubilizing solution (non-iodized salt, water, liquid detergent)
  • Meat tenderizer solution (meat tenderizer, water)
  • Funnel or rubber band for holding the cheesecloth
  • Cold ethanol, 95%
  • Glass stirring rod
  • Large test tube and test tube rack (optional)
  • Student Handout (p8-10 of PDF)


  • Life Sciences
    • Cells
      • Cell Structure and Function
    • Diversity of Life
      • Plants
  • Physical Sciences
    • Chemistry
      • Chemistry of Life
      • Solutions
  • The Nature of Science
    • The Scientific Process
      • Conducting Investigations
      • Gathering Data

Informal Categories

  • Food and Cooking


To use this activity, learners need to:

  • see
  • touch

Learning styles supported:

  • Involves hands-on or lab activities


Components that are part of this resource:

Includes alignment to state and/or national standards

Includes assesments for student learning

Access Rights:

  • Free access


  • Gallo, Ph.D., Mark; Ventresca, Shannon; Cordts, Ph.D., Marcia


  • All Rights Reserved, American Society for Microbiology, ©2012


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