Department of Energy Argonne National Laboratory Office of Science NEWTON's Homepage NEWTON's Homepage
NEWTON, Ask A Scientist!
NEWTON Home Page NEWTON Teachers Visit Our Archives Ask A Question How To Ask A Question Question of the Week Our Expert Scientists Volunteer at NEWTON! Frequently Asked Questions Referencing NEWTON About NEWTON About Ask A Scientist Education At Argonne Extracting Fruit DNA

Name: Daniel
Status: student
Grade: 6-8
Location: Outside U.S.
Country: USA
Date: Winter 2012-2913

Does the amount of DNA differ when extracted from different fruits?

Hi Daniel,

Thanks for the question. You can expect some difference in the amount of DNA extracted from various fruits due to the different chemicals present in each of the fruits. I am unable to predict which fruit gives more DNA as there are several factors involved.

Just remember that the seed part of the fruit is where the DNA is. The DNA is not in the fleshy part--the part often eaten.

I would recommend consulting a teacher before trying to extract any DNA as the chemicals used in the process can be harmful.

I hope this helps. Please let me know if you have more questions. Thanks Jeff


This question is a good one, but it is a little complex to explain in a way that a middle school student will be able to understand. Botanists have learned that by increasing the number of chromosomes, fruits may become larger, and in the case of strawberries, sweeter as well. This chromosome duplication can be done chemically. These plants are called tetraploids if you want to pursue this further by searching.

Many plants also duplicate more DNA than needed to help in the production of fruit. Bananas are an example. The study this further, look up seed and fruit development. This process is involved so be advised.

I have not given you a great deal of information, but the search topics will provide more details than I think you are able to understand. At least you will have an idea of answering your question.

Steve Sample

Yes, it does. I suspect it may depend on the mass of the fruit tissue which contains the DNA with respect to (1) water content (2) carbohydrate content. The internet has many experiments listed that show how to extract genomic DNA fruit. Why not try extracting genomic DNA from corn. That might be interesting.

Remember DNA is not found in water or carbohydrate of fruit.

Stephen R. Dunn Ass't Professor of Medicine (ret.) Kimmel Cancer Center & Division of Nephrology Thomas Jefferson University

It should. You and I are diploid animals because we have 2 of every chromosome type in our nuclei. Strawberries, for example, are octaploid-they have 8 of every chromosome. So if the amount of cells is the same, you should get more DNA from strawberries than from your cells. But, that assumes you have the same number of cells in your sample.


Click here to return to the Molecular Biology Archives

NEWTON is an electronic community for Science, Math, and Computer Science K-12 Educators, sponsored and operated by Argonne National Laboratory's Educational Programs, Andrew Skipor, Ph.D., Head of Educational Programs.

For assistance with NEWTON contact a System Operator (, or at Argonne's Educational Programs

Educational Programs
Building 223
9700 S. Cass Ave.
Argonne, Illinois
60439-4845, USA
Update: November 2011
Weclome To Newton

Argonne National Laboratory