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Biochem Mol Biol Educ. 2009 Mar;37(2):99-105. doi: 10.1002/bmb.20256.

Red seaweed enzyme-catalyzed bromination of bromophenol red: An inquiry-based kinetics laboratory experiment for undergraduates.

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Institute for Innovation and Development of Learning Process, Mahidol University, Bangkok, Thailand; Department of Biochemistry, Mahidol University, Bangkok, Thailand.


Haloperoxidase enzymes are of interest for basic and applied bioscientists because of their increasing importance in pharmaceutical industry and environmental cleanups. In a guided inquiry-based laboratory experiment for life-science, agricultural science, and health science undergraduates, the bromoperoxidase from a red seaweed was used to brominate bromophenol red, a novel starting substrate. Substrate and enzyme concentration dependence of this enzyme-catalyzed reaction as followed colorimetrically yielded initial rates of reaction that the students compared with those of their peers. The students worked as collaborative groups partially designing their own experiments and carrying them out. In performing the laboratory experiment, they were minimally guided by the instructor and teaching assistants. To engage the students before the laboratory, a short activity involving the enzyme-induced color change was carried out. At the end of the laboratory session, student groups discussed their results in front of the class and reached their own conclusions. Most students had better understanding of important concepts in enzyme kinetics and showed good attitude toward the overall student-centered laboratory exercise.

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