Question: Would a kiwifruit and strawberry that are approximately the same size also have approximately the same amount of DNA?
Background: You have learned that DNA is carried on chromosomes. All mammals are diploid; however, not all plants are diploid. The common strawberry is octoploid (8n) and the cultivated kiwi is hexaploid (6n). Research the total number of chromosomes in the cells of each of these fruits and think about how this might correspond to the amount of DNA in these fruits’ cell nuclei.
Hypothesis: Hypothesize whether you would be able to detect a difference in DNA quantity from similarly sized strawberries and kiwis. Which fruit do you think would yield more DNA?
Test your hypothesis. Perform the DNA extraction experiment.
Record your observations: Because you are not quantitatively measuring DNA volume, you can record for each trial whether the two fruits produced the same or different amounts of DNA as observed by eye. If one or the other fruit produced noticeably more DNA, record this as well. Determine whether your observations are consistent with several pieces of each fruit.
Analyze your data: Did you notice an obvious difference in the amount of DNA produced by each fruit? Were your results reproducible?
Draw a conclusion: Given what you know about the number of chromosomes in each fruit, can you conclude that chromosome number necessarily correlates to DNA amount? Can you identify any drawbacks to this procedure? If you had access to a laboratory, how could you standardize your comparison and make it more quantitative?
To complete this assessment, address all of the points above in a lab write up. Be sure to include images of your experiment in progress.