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Glow-in-the-Dark Transformation 8-Station Student Kit (with perishables)

Product Highlights
  • Teach bacterial transformation by modifying E. coli to glow in the dark
  • Includes enough supplies for 8 student groups/lab stations
  • Refills can be purchased separately
(in stock)


Product Details
Intermediate—Easy to perform; requires some background knowledge.

With this bacterial transformation kit, students modify E. coli to become bioluminescent by inducing and expressing the same genes that cause marine V. fischeri to glow in the ocean. The plasmid in this kit, pVIB, was produced by removing the genes involved in the production of light (known as lux genes) from V. fischeri. After E. coli uptakes the plasmid, the bacteria will glow in the dark and illuminate your students’ understanding of transformation as a result. Kit includes perishable materials.

Note: Bacteria transformed with the pVIB plasmid must be grown at 30°C or less for the glowing to be seen.

Product Features

  • Designed for 8 student groups/lab stations
  • Plasmid contains gene for ampicillin resistance

Time Requirement
Teacher prep, prepare LB agar plates and streak start plates. Performing lab, approximately one to two 60-minute class periods. Post lab results, approximately one 60-minute class period.

Digital Resources
Includes 1-year access to digital resources that include a teacher’s manual, student guide, fill-in answer sheets, whiteboard resources, videos, interactive digital prelab activity, and more.

Performance Expectation(s)

Crosscutting Concepts
Cause and Effect

Disciplinary Core Ideas
HS LS1.A: Structure and Function

Science and Engineering Practices
Constructing Explanations and Designing Solutions

Learning Objectives

  • Explain how one organism can be genetically engineered to produce a protein from a different organism.
  • Draw connections between the techniques performed in this laboratory and the development of current critical pharmaceuticals.
  • Explain the use and importance of selective marker genes in a bacterial transformation.

Prerequisite Knowledge and Skills
Students should have a basic knowledge of cell structure and function, cell wall and membrane structure and function, and a working knowledge of protein synthesis.


Shipping Information or Purchase Restrictions
  • Exclamation icon This item contains living or perishable material and ships via 2nd Day or Overnight delivery.
What’s Included:
  • E. coli Culture 
  • 1 pVIB Plasmid Solution, 200 µL 
  • 1 Ampicillin, 4 mL 
  • 2 Sterile LB Agar, 400 mL
  • 40 Sterile Petri Dishes
  • 8 50 mM Calcium Chloride, 3 mL
  • 8 LB Broth, 3 mL
  • 16 Transformation Tubes, 15 mL
  • 48 Sterile Transfer Pipets, 1 mL
  • 1 Glass Beads, 1 oz
  • 28 Sterile Transfer Loops
  • 1 Wire Inoculating Loop
  • 1 Teacher's Manual and Reproducible Student Guide
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Needed But Not Included:
  • 1 Boiling Water Bath or Microwave (for melting agar)
  • 8 Beakers, 600 mL
  • 1 Container (for glass beads)
  • 8 Culture Tube Racks
  • 8 Wax Markers
  • 1 Masking Tape
  • 1 Bunsen Burner
  • 1 Water Bath, 42°C
  • 1 Autoclavable Disposable Bag
  •  Ice
  •  Parafilm® or Plastic Wrap
  •  Bleach Solution, 10%
  •  Incubator (optional)
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