Lab Core

Tobacco Hornworms

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General Laboratory Equipment

  • Incubation system (a light bulb works!)
  • Flight cage, if using adults
  • An autoclave or other mechanism for sterilizing solutions is highly desirable.


Equipment for Specific Experiments

Effect of Increased Carbon Dioxide on Herbivory

  • growth chambers for growing tobacco plants; one for ambient CO2, one for high CO2
  • leaf area meter (preferred); alternatively, access to a photocopier
  • balance capable of weighing to 0.01 g


Experiments investigating changes in hemolymph contain a detailed equipment/supply listing for each laboratory exercise. Some or all of the experiments may be performed to analyze hemolymph protein, depending on time, equipment availability, and interest.

Determination of Total Protein Concentration

  • spectrophotometer
  • micropipttors
  • vortexer

Determination of Lysozyme Activity

  • spectrophotometer
  • stir plate
  • micropipettors for measuring up to 1 ml and 0.2 ml
  • pipette tips for above
  • stop watch or other timing device

Determination of Cecropin Activity

  • apparatus for making approximately 3 mm holes in agar. Although units are commercially available, this can simply be a large end of a Pasteur pipette that has been broken and attached to a vacuum apparatus.

SDS-PAGE Analysis

  • units for protein electrophoresis, preferably mini-units (Mini Protean II from BioRad are excellent, catalog number 165-2940). The system should include glass plates, spacers, combs, electrophoresis gel box with lid, electrical cables.
  • electrophoresis power supply
  • micropipettors
  • vacuum apparatus (preferred but can do without)
  • rotating shaker
  • gel dryer (preferred but can do without)


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March 1999