Japanese Journal of Biological Education
Online ISSN : 2434-1916
Print ISSN : 0287-119X
Practicing lessons to experience protein denaturation by using genetically modified fluorescent silk cocoons
Masaru HashiKatsura Kojima
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2023 Volume 65 Issue 1 Pages 24-29


In high school biology lesson, the experiment is requested to understand the properties of proteins, and have students’ interest in genetic recombination technology. Therefore, in this study, we examined experiments using fluorescent silk cocoons (GFP and RFP cocoons) of genetically modified silkworms to understand the properties of proteins. As a result, it was confirmed that the sections of fluorescent silk cocoons did not fluoresce or fluoresced less when exposed to high temperature, strongly acidic or strongly alkaline solutions. In the results of educational practices, many students reported that they understood that proteins are denatured by high temperature, strong acid or strong base. In addition, students were able to learn about fluorescent proteins through experiments that find the conditions under which GFP and RFP fluoresce. In this experimental lesson, it is easy to change the number of lessons and emphasize inquiry activities depending on the situation, and it is also easy to prepare and clean up. These results suggest that fluorescent silk cocoons may be useful as an educational material for understanding protein denaturation and for developing interest in genetic recombination technology.

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© 2023 The Society of Biological Science Education of Japan
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