SNP Lab First Draft

Sarah Deel, Carleton College; Susan Singer, Carleton College; Debby Walser-Kuntz, Carleton College
Author Profile
This material was originally developed as part of the Carleton College Teaching Activity Collection
through its collaboration with the SERC Pedagogic Service.


This is an introductory biology laboratory exercise in which students isolate DNA from their cheek cells, amplify (using PCR) a region of DNA surrounding a single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP), and perform RFLP (restriction fragment length polymorphism) analysis to determine which variant of the SNP they have.

Learning Goals

  • Students will understand how PCR works.
  • Students will learn how to use RFLP analysis to determine a person's genotype for a SNP.

Context for Use

This is a lab from an introductory biology course. The lab spans two lab sessions. Students should be able to pipet small volumes with reasonable sterile technique. A thermal cycler for PCR is required.

Description and Teaching Materials

The lab handout (Microsoft Word 58kB Apr17 07) for the students.

Teaching Notes and Tips

SNP TA Sheet Week 1 (Microsoft Word 36kB Apr24 07)SNP TA Sheet Week 2 (Microsoft Word 38kB Apr24 07)These are copies of the information sheets we provide to our instructors and TAs containing information about teaching the lab.

SNP Set Up Sheet Week 1 (Microsoft Word 57kB Apr23 07)SNP Set Up Sheet Week 2 (Microsoft Word 92kB Apr23 07)These are copies of the set-up sheets we use to prepare the lab.


We normally assess student understanding of this material on course exams.

References and Resources