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Learning Objectives

At the end of this lab, students should know...

Why is cell division important?

Cell division is fundamental to all living organisms and required for growth and development. As an essential means of reproduction for all living things, cell division allows organisms to transfer their genetic material to their offspring.

What are the stages of cell cycle?

Cell cycle consists of Interphase and the M phase. Interphase is the stage when the cell grows, replicates its DNA and produces necessary components for cell division. Nuclear division occurs during the M phase, followed by cytokinesis or cytoplasmic division.

What are the differences between mitosis and meiosis?

Somatic cells divide via mitosis to generate two identical diploid daughter cells, whereas meiosis generates four haploid non-identical daughter cells that are called gametes.

Why is regulation of cell division necessary?

Regulation of cell division ensures the health of daughter cells. Unregulated cell division can lead to tumor formation.

What is the significance of the study of cell division?

Cell division is fundamental for biological systems. Studying cell cycle and division mechanisms increases our understanding of associated health and disease conditions. It also allows development of therapies for various conditions, such as inhibition of cancer cells with chemotherapeutic agents.

List of Materials

  • Diluted DAPI (1 µl in 10 mL PBS)
    2.5 mL
  • Hydrochloric Acid (HCl), 1 N
    5 mL
  • Nocodazole (5 mg/mL)
    2.5 mL
  • Test tube rack
    5
  • Microcentrifuge tubes (3-5)
    5
  • Automated pipettes (1 µL-1mL)
    5
  • Glass slides (1 case)
    5
  • Glass cover slips (1 case)
    5
  • Distilled water (100 mL)
    5
  • Spray bottle (70% ethanol)
    5
  • Razor blade
    5
  • Onions with fresh roots
    Dependent on the lab size
  • Heat block with thermometer
    Dependent on the lab size
  • Fluorescence microscope
    Dependent on the lab size

Lab Prep

  1. Preparation of Onion Root Tips and Solutions
    • For the cell cycle experiment using root tips, first, leave an onion suspended over a beaker of water to grow roots for several days.
    • Then, clean the onion roots of any dirt or debris.
    • Next, in a 1.5 mL tube, dissolve 10 mcg of nocodazole per 1 mL of dimethyl sulfoxide solution, making 1 tube per student.
    • Finally, set out all of the other tools, materials, and reagents from the list of materials onto each student's lab bench.

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