This exercise was designed for a sophomore-level introductory microbiology course for science majors. The protocol utilizes a floral dip method which takes advantage of the gene transfer capabilities of Agrobacterium tumefaciens and closely resembles the procedure used in plant molecular biology laboratories for creation of transgenic plants.
This exercise provides a hands-on perspective of how genetically modified organisms are made and emphasizes concepts such as horizontal gene transfer and the differences in gene expression between eukaryotes and prokaryotes. This exercise provides a nice alternative to traditional bacterial transformation exercises which are commonly used in many introductory-level science courses. This exercise is technically easy but requires the length of the semester to finish; hence, it may not be well-suited for shortened summer or winter semesters.