Using the model microbe Halobacterium sp. NRC-1, students may study the process of mutation which occurs at high frequency by performing DNA extractions, PCR (polymerase chain reaction), and gel electrophoresis. This activity, called the Genotype-Phenotype Connection, is designed in inquiry format and involves both the wild-type Halobacterium sp. NRC-1 and a stable mutant derivative, Halobacterium sp. KBT-1, which was identified by a Kansas Biology teacher. As part of these exercises, students formulate questions and hypotheses to explain differences in colony phenotypes. To draw conclusions regarding the link between the molecular differences detected and the phenotypes observed, students pool and analyze their data. For more information, see:

Genotype-Phenotype Connection

Some interesting questions for students to consider: 'How did Earth evolve such a complex variety of life? Why are some colonies pink and some red? Why are plants green?'

Carolina Biological Supply Kit covers

As a companion to this website, we have developed a comprehensive set of laboratory exercises using Halobacterium NRC-1 as the model organism for teaching a wide range of subjects, including exponential growth, colony formation, mutation, antibiotic resistance, motility, flotation, DNA function, transformation, complementation, biotechnology, genomics, and bioinformatics.