Exploring DNA in biochemistry lab courses: DNA barcoding and phylogenetic analysis

Document Type


Publication Date



DNA structure has been leveraged in a variety of facets that allow scientists to perform a range of assays, including ones for identification of species, establishing evolutionary relationships between taxa, or even identifying individuals. Here, we present a DNA barcoding method as practical, hands-on approach that connects several experimental techniques in one sequence to teach the principles behind DNA isolation, purification, PCR, sequencing, and phylogeny analysis. Our set of exercises is designed for a teaching university laboratory setting. The three laboratory class assignments utilize DNA from a mushroom (can be purchased at a supermarket) and provide a pipeline to guide students through the process of identifying an unknown sample, like in many research laboratories. The third assignment can be used as a stand-alone exercise on phylogeny analysis and can be taught remotely. Students explore the theory behind the standard molecular techniques and apply it in a hands-on setting that involves experimental design, sample preparation, and use of hallmark molecular instruments.

Publication Title

Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Education

First Page Number


Last Page Number




This document is currently not available here.