Episode 5 – DNA: It’s Bananas


First, you will need to download the DNA: It’s Bananas! lab manual.


Using those leftover bananas from our Banana Dissection activity, let’s take a look at what makes a banana a banana! DNA, or deoxyribonucleic acid is the genetic code that determines the appearance and traits of every living organism. For humans, this means what hair colour we are born with, how our earlobes appear, whether or not we can roll our tongue, and many other characteristics.

For bananas, DNA dictates their size, shape, colour, and many other traits! To see this DNA, we would often need a high powered microscope. Today, we will show you how to view this DNA at home and tell you a bit about why genetics is so important.

You may have heard the common myth that humans share 50% of their DNA with bananas. While this story is not entirely untrue, it has been greatly lost in translation! Rather than sharing 50% of our DNA with bananas, we actually share about 50% of our genes. This is an important distinction, as genes make up only about 2% of our total DNA and codes for proteins that express traits and characteristics. This means, we actually only share 1% of our DNA with bananas. So no, you do not have to worry about waking up inside of a yellow peel anytime soon!

Saskatchewan Curriculum Connection: CS8.1: Analyze the characteristics of cells, and compare structural and functional characteristics of plant and animal cells. MS7.1: Distinguish between pure substances and mixtures (mechanical mixtures and solutions) using the particle model of matter. (SI, CP)