CABS Educational Programs on Algae and Biofuels

Backyard Biofuels is a collaborative project of the Saint Louis Science Center and the Center for Advanced Biofuel Systems at the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center. It is supported through grants from the National Science Foundation and the United States Department of Energy. This citizen research project is located at the Saint Louis Science Center and has the potential to discover algae species located within the St. Louis metro area which may be used in advanced biofuel production systems research. For more information on this program, please visit www.backyardbiofuels.org.

CABS Educational Programs on Photosynthesis and Green Energy
The Donald Danforth Plant Science Center's "Technology Trunks" Educational Program has a new Photosynthesis Trunk for classroom demonstrations and experiments Technology Trunks is a no-cost equipment loan program that supports biotechnology education in St. Louis area high schools. Trained teachers can request use of a trunk in their classroom(s) for a 2-week period to advance student learning in biology, biotechnology and genetics. "The Photosynthesis Trunk" includes:

"The Photosynthesis Trunk" includes:

  • Plant Pigment Chromatography
  • Experiments demonstrating light and dark reactions of photosynthesis. Examples include: Spinach chloroplast reduction of DCIP, Leaf disc photosynthesis (O2), and Pelagonium leaf starch pictures.
  • Use of Cabomba and immobilized green algae in the classroom.
  • Use of bioreactors with O2 and CO2 gas probes to measure the rate of photosynthesis in plants
  • Genomic DNA isolation and PCR amplification of nested fragments of the Rubisco large subunit gene
  • PCR Amplification of Rubisco small subunit gene from different plant sources using degenerate primers
  • Preparation of leaf extracts and analysis of Rubisco large subunit by SDS-PAGE and immunoblotting


Terry Woodford-Thomas, Ph.D.
The Derick and Sally Driemeyer 
Director of Science Education and Outreach 

Danforth Center
975 N. Warson Rd.
St. Louis, MO 63132 
(314) 587-1436