The Lambda protocol

The restriction enzyme EcoRI bound to a length of DNA (blue), looking down the axis of the double helix.

This practical exercise has become a classic for demonstrating the action of different restriction enzymes on DNA. The original protocol on which this is based was devised by Greg Freyer and published by Cold Spring Harbor’s DNA Learning Center.


The bacteriophage lambda has double-stranded DNA which is 48 502 base-pairs in length. Different restriction enzymes ‘recognise’ specific sequences of bases in this DNA and cut it at precise locations. Three different restriction enzymes are provided in this module: BamHI, HindIII and EcoRI. (These enzymes take their rather strange names from the initial letters of the names of the bacteria that roduce them.) After treatment with the individual enzymes, the lambda DNA fragments are separated by size using gel electrophoresis. Once the gel has been ‘run’, the DNA is stained to reveal distinctive patterns of bands which correspond to fragments of different sizes.


The module contains materials for two complete ‘runs’ of the lambda protocol, each with eight students or working groups.

  • 2 foam floaters
  • 8 sheets of carbon fibre electrode material, each 10 cm x 10 cm
  • 300 white pipette tips, graduated at 2 and 10 µL
  • 8 x 1.5 mL bromophenol blue loading dye
  • 16 empty tubes + caps (yellow)
  • 16 tubes of dried lambda DNA + caps
  • 16 tubes of dried EcoRI restriction enzyme (red)
  • 16 tubes of dried BamHI restriction enzyme (blue)
  • 16 tubes of dried HindIII restriction enzyme (green)
  • 50 mL TBE buffer (10x concentrate)
  • 50 mL stain for DNA (2x concentrate)
  • 2 g DNA electrophoresis-grade agarose
  • 8 copies of the 8-page Student’s guide (full colour)
  • 1 Teacher’s guide
  • Safety data sheets



For a full list of replacement items, including Students’ booklets, please refer to the Replacement parts web page. Please note that once you have a Base Unit, the most cost-effective option is probably to buy the Lambda protocol module rather than individual replacement items.


Lambda protocol module …..£133.00 (GBP)


All of the prices on this page are in GBP and do not include Value Added Tax (VAT). This tax applies within the European Union only. Postage and handling must also be paid on orders from outside the United Kingdom. Details of how to order are given on the price list and on the Ordering web page.