pGLO Bacterial Transformation Kit

pGLO Bacterial Transformation Kit

Teach the central dogma and genetic engineering using E. coli and a gene from the bioluminescent jellyfish Aequorea victoria. This classic pGLO kit follows the same procedure used by molecular biologists to create "designer proteins".

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Note: This kit can be modified to accommodate individual workstations in socially-distanced classrooms.
Download instructions for modification.

Bio-Rad's pGLO Bacterial Transformation Kit is the classic kit for teaching the central dogma and the basics of genetic engineering. In this bacterial transformation lab activity, students use the pGLO plasmid to transform bacteria to express green fluorescent protein (GFP) from the bioluminescent jellyfish Aequorea victoria, which causes the bacteria to glow green under UV light. Explore the concept of DNA > RNA > Protein > Trait and the roles that external and internal factors play in gene regulation.

Features and Benefits

  • Hands-on genetic engineering — from handling plasmids to performing heat shock and plating the transformants, students perform the same transformation protocol used by scientists on a daily basis around the world
  • Visible, dramatic phenotype — bacteria transformed with pGLO glow a brilliant fluorescent green under UV light. Once students transform bacteria with pGLO, they never forget the central dogma of molecular biology: DNA > RNA > Protein > Trait — Green Fluorescence
  • Gene expression and gene regulation — bacteria transformed with pGLO show green fluorescence only when they are grown in the presence of arabinose. Use this experiment to illustrate that not all genes are expressed at the same time and that environmental factors control when gene expression takes place

Each pGLO Bacterial Transformation Kit:

  • Includes consumables and reagents for 8 student workstations, with up to 4 students per workstation
  • Supports lab activities designed for two 50-minute sessions

pGLO Resources for Teachers

Find the kit instruction manual, student quick guide, and more under the Documents tab of this page.

Bio-Rad’s Family of pGLO Bacterial Transformation and GFP Kits

Bio-Rad offers a selection of kits for teaching about pGLO bacterial transformation, gene expression, and the green fluoresecent protein (GFP).

pGLO Bacterial Transformation Kits

A selection of pGLO bacterial transformation kits to help you meet your specific learning objectives

  pGLO Bacterial Transformation Kit pGLO Bacterial Transformation Kit for General Biology pGLO Bacterial Transformation and Inquiry Kit for AP Biology
Overview A laboratory skills-based approach to bacterial transformation; students follow a robust protocol for a well-controlled experiment while analyzing the details of the technique A highly scaffolded three-dimensional approach to bacterial transformation and gene expression; students design their own step-wise experiments and write and revise models and scientific explanations An inquiry-based approach to bacterial transformation through experimental optimization; students ask their own questions and conduct multiple experiments to refine the parameters of the technique
Primarily curriculum concepts Gene expression, gene regulation, antibiotic resistance, artificial selection, experimental design, laboratory skills
Workstations 8 12 8
Laboratory activities 1 2 5
Class periods (50 min) 2 3–5 Flexible to fit a range of class periods

pGLO and Green Fluorescent Protein (GFP) Kits

pGLO extension activities for investigating the properties and purification of the green fluorescent protein (GFP)

  pGLO SDS-PAGE Extension* Green Fluorescent Protein Chromatography Kit* Secrets of the Rainforest Kit
Overview Use protein electrophoresis (SDS-PAGE) to view the expression of proteins in pGLO bacteria Use chromatography to purify glowing green fluorescent protein from pGLO bacteria (GFP)  Simulate the drug discovery process in your classroom with a glowing protein (GFP)
Primary curriculum concepts Protein expression, electrophoresis Protein expression, protein structure and function, chromatography Cloning and screening bacterial libraries, protein purification, chromatography, process and ethics of drug development
Workstations 8 8 8

* Requires purchase of a pGLO bacterial transformation kit.

Additional Information

  • HOSA: future health professionals

    This kit is a resource for the HOSA competitive event in Biotechnology. To learn more, visit or

  • LT; Create, Share, Inspire.

    This hands-on activity is integrated with the Lt Biology Collection, the online learning platform from ADInstruments.

  • Student Guide Translations

    Translations of the Instructor and Student Guide in Spanish (Español), French (Français), and German (Deutsch) are available on the Kit Manual Translations page.


Kit contains sufficient materials for 8 student workstations
(2–4 students per workstation)
Plasmid (pGLO), lyophilized
20 μg
E. coli strain HB101 K-12, lyophilized
1 vial
LB nutrient broth, sterile
10 ml
LB nutrient agar powder
20 g
Ampicillin, lyophilized
30 mg
Arabinose, lyophilized
600 mg
Sterile transformation solution (CaCl2)
15 ml
Petri dishes, 60 mm, sterile
Inoculation loops, sterile
Microcentrifuge tubes, 2.0 ml, sterile, color-coded
Disposable plastic transfer pipets
Foam micro test tube holders
UV pen light



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pGLO Bacterial Transformation kit

Gene expression analysis classroom kit, includes GFP encoding plasmid, nutrient broth/powder, petri dishes, UV pen light, and more, for 32 students; education use only, download free manual



Consumable reagents for pGLO Bacterial Transformation Kits, includes pGLO Plasmid, E. coli, nutrient broth, transformation solution, ampicillin, arabinose; LB agar powder (1660600EDU) not included; for education use only

(Discontinued) pGLO™ Plasmid
20 μg, lyophilized DNA, plasmid encoding the Green Fluorescent Protein (GFP), for use with the pGLO Bacterial Transformation Kit (#166-0003EDU); education use only
(Discontinued) Ampicillin
30 mg, lyophilized reagent, antibiotic for use with the pGLO™ Bacterial Transformation Kit (#166-0003EDU); education use only
(Discontinued) Arabinose
600 mg, lyophilized reagent, gene expression activator for use with the pGLO™ Bacterial Transformation Kit (#166-0003EDU); education use only
15 ml, sterile CaCl2 solution, for use with the pGLO™ Bacterial Transformation Kit (#166-0003EDU); education use only
Pkg of 600, 6 colors; education use only


Number Description Options
Instructor and Student Guide, pGLO Bacterial Transformation Kit
pGLO Bacterial Transformation Kit, Biotechnology Explorer, Quick Guide
pGLO Plasmid Map and Sequence
Map of AP-Aligned Bio-Rad Kits with Essential Knowledge
Map of AP-Aligned Bio-Rad Kits with Investigative Laboratories
Map of AP-Aligned Bio-Rad Kits with Learning Objectives
20 Questions to Master Inquiry - pGLO™ Bacterial Transformation Kit, Rev A
Refresh Kit Components — Large Class/Multiple Class Preparation Guide
Instructor Guide, Protein Electrophoresis of GFP: A pGLO Bacterial Transformation Kit Extension
Case Study, BioBusiness - How Businesses Use Recombinant DNA Technology to Tailor Products to Meet Customers' Needs