Determining Molecular Genotype from Phenotype: Real Time PCR Analysis

Overview & Concepts

Students will learn about lightcyclers (real time PCR), a biotechnology used to help determine molecular genotype of blood types. They will analyze sample lightcycler outputs to determine blood type and possible molecular genotypes of humans.

Grade Level: 

Concepts Covered: 

genomics, bloodtype, genotype, lightcycler, phenotype, single nucleotide polymorphism, ABO

Prior Knowledge Required: 

Students have learned about DNA, chromosomes, inheritance, multiple alleles, blood types , SNP, genotype, phenotype, and various biotechnology (such as performing gel electrophoresis techniques and analysis).

Activity Notes

Days to Teach: 

1.5 days (48 minute periods)


  • Determining Molecular Genotype by Light Cycler Interpretation worksheet
  • Light Cycler Practice worksheet

Teaching Tips / Activity Overview: 

Day 1:  

  1. The teacher will explain how real time PCR technology is used to help determine genetic diseases at the Clinic for Special Children in Lancaster County, PA.  The powerpoints Real Time PCR and About The Clinic for Special Childre can be used.
  2. Students will read the light cycler worksheet, discussing and asking questions on light cycler interpretation.
  3. Students will then work on the light cycler practice worksheet.  If students are not finished, they will complete it for homework.

Day 2:  

  1. Students, having their completed the practice homework, will compare their work with a partner and together will work through any interpretation differences they may have.  If needed they will ask the teacher for assistance. 
  2. After a few minutes the teacher will go over several examples with the class to make sure they are performing correct interpretations.

Conclusion of class:

  1. After students have completed all questions the teacher will provide them with a new example to be assessed individually.


Individually assessed problem and performance on unit test.


For more information about The Clinic for Special Children, please read the article in Nature:


This lesson was produced by Becky Holsinger.

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