LabBench Activity

Transformation Procedure

In your laboratory, you use plasmids that carry the ampR gene to transform E. coli cells that lack this gene. The illustration below outlines the major steps in this procedure.

You also prepare a second group of E. coli cells as a control to verify that E. coli will not grow on agar with ampicillin unless it is transformed, and that nothing in the procedure itself affects the survival of E. coli. The procedure is the same for both groups of cells except in step 2, where you add ampR plasmids to the experimental cells but not to the control cells.

After you've familiarized yourself with the procedure as a whole, take Closer Look at each stage. Select steps 1–4 and 6 to see what is going on at the cellular level.