Which Detergent Extracts Strawberry DNA The Best?

based on 16 ratings
Author: Mary T.



The purpose of the experiment is to test the effectiveness of a dishwashing liquid, a laundry detergent, and a shampoo during a DNA extraction process from a strawberry. I used the following materials- fresh strawberries, distilled water, Dr. Shawn’s Mini CSI Laboratory Extract DNA Kit, which contains- test tubes, beakers, a filter, powdered buffer, and blue DNA stain. My experiment also required the use of 91% Isopropyl Alcohol.

While conducting my experiment, I completed ten trials for each type of detergent. The additional trials were completed to reduce error in my results. I utilized a graduated test tube to measure the amount of visible extracted DNA. The measurements confirmed my hypothesis that Ajax dishwashing liquid extracted the most visible DNA.

Life Science
6th Grade
Difficulty of the Project
Safety Issues
Time Taken to Complete the Project
2 months


The purpose of the experiment is to test the effectiveness of a dishwashing liquid, a laundry detergent, and a shampoo during a DNA extraction process from a strawberry.

Materials and Equipment

  • Three 250 ml tri-pour beakers
  • One glass extraction rod
  • One plastic 4 oz squeezing bottle
  • 10 graduated test tubes
  • 91% isopropyl alcohol
  • Blue monster DNA stain
  • Powder buffer (which contains)-
    • DNA suspension agent
    • pH stabilizer
    • Protein destroyer
  • Nylon fast flow filter
  • Measuring spoons
  • Thermometer
  • 4 pipettes
  • Purex laundry detergent
  • Fructis shampoo
  • Ajax dishwashing liquid
  •  Test Tube Holder
  • Strawberries
  • Blender
  • 3 Bowls
  • Distilled water


Deoxyribonucleic acid, also abbreviated as DNA, is the substance in the cells of living things that contains the information of life (Wilcox, 8). Among animals, plants, and microorganisms, there are many kinds of cells that have different shapes and perform different functions (Ruiz, 12). Plant and animal cells are eukaryotic cells, which mean that the nucleus is isolated from the cytoplasm by a membrane called the nuclear membrane (20). The DNA is located inside the nucleus. 

When a person is eating a strawberry, they do not realize they are eating strawberry DNA! A strawberry is an octoploid which means has eight sets of seven chromosomes makes its genetics very complex. Scientists are therefore working on wild diploid strawberries which are easier to analyze, and then seek to apply knowledge across to the cultivated strawberry.

Terms and Concepts for Background Research

Buffer A solution that protects or “buffers” a reaction against changes in pH.

DNA - Deoxyribonucleic Acid, the substance of inheritance, which directs the growth, organization, development, and function of cells.

Research Questions

I predict that the use of Ajax dishwashing liquid will be the best at breaking down the cell membrane and allow the greatest amount of DNA to become visible. I believe this because I have observed the way dishwashing liquid breaks down the grease on pots and pans while cleaning the dishes.

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