Course code BIO350

BIO350 RNA in situ RNA Hybridization Techniques

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Showing course contents for the educational year 2021 - 2022 .

Course responsible: Trine Hvoslef-Eide
Teachers: Pelle Sandhaug Mikkelsen, Tone Ingeborg Melby
ECTS credits: 5
Faculty: Faculty of Biosciences
Teaching language: EN, NO
(NO=norsk, EN=Engelsk)
Limits of class size:
Teaching exam periods:
This course runs in the January semester in the Plant Cell Laboratory in and have a heavy time table for the first two weeks. 
Course frequency: Annually
First time: Study year 2007-2008
Preferential right:
Master´s degree students in Plant Science, Biology or Biotechnology, as well as PhD students.
Course contents:

RNA in situ hybridization is a method of studying which genes are active in an organism and where in the organism these genes are expressed at any given time.

The course is made up of lectures with theory about in situ hybridization and lots of practical exercises throughout the course. During the three weeks, we will follow a test throughout the process. Students are welcome to bring their own biological material to the first day of teaching, by agreement with the teacher, so that it is prepared. Students must submit a lab journal at the end, with approved / not approved.

Learning outcome:

The students shall be able to harvest their plant or animal material, fix it, wax-embed it, section it in a microtome, transfer to a pre-coated slide, make probes of potentially interesting gene sequences, hybridise with the probes, develop and examine under the microscope. One is able to see which genes are active (expressed) at any given time in a developmental process. The students should be able to see the potential and the limitations for the technique in plant sciences.


• The student can carry out an experiment with RNA in situ hybridization


• Students can create solutions in the lab in an accurate way

• The student understands how the protocols can be optimized because they know why different operations and solutions are used

• The student can describe the method in their own words and explain the meaning of each step

• The student can present, discuss and conclude on their own results


• The student knows how to work securely in the lab

• The student can make up solutions and follow protocols

• The student can read a primary publication and present it to the class

Learning activities:
Lectures, laboratory work.
Teaching support:
Lectures, web support through Canvas and guidance during exercises in the laboratory.
Practical in situ hybridisation, by Trude Schwartzacher and Pat Heslop-Harrison (2002). The book is no longer available from the publishers, so we have copied the relevant chapter for use on Canvas for our students
Knowledge of molecular biology
Recommended prerequisites:
BOT130, BIO120.
Mandatory activity:
Practicals in the laboratory and journal
Submitted laboratory report counts 100%.
Nominal workload:
Ca. 125 hours.
Entrance requirements:
Special requirements in Science
Reduction of credits:
Type of course:
There will normally be activities from 0830am-4pm each day for the first 2 weeks of the January semester,  with some modifications depending on how much time is spent each day. We follow the protocols for RNA in situ hybridization.
This course is meant for undergraduate and PhD students who work on gene expression and wish to learn techniques to study gene expression in anatomical sections of plants or animals. The students can bring their own plant material if they wish. We will fix the samples, embed them in wax, section, and hybridise with their own probes or probes provided in the course. Lastly, we will develop the expression and examine the result under the microscope.
The examiner takes part in the assessment.
Examination details: Portfolio: Passed / Not Passed