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Betty Jo Chitester

  • Assistant Professor
    Chemistry Department

Courses Taught

Chemistry of Life
Physiological Chemistry
General Chemistry
Structural Biochemistry

Educational History

Ph.D. 2002, Kent State University
M.S. 1977, Youngstown State University


My current research projects focus on elucidating structure and function of molecules of interest using molecular biological techniques.  One project involves the cloning and sequencing of the gene for GAPDH (Glyceraldehyde-3- Phosphate Dehydrogenase) from several common vegetable plants.  The GAPDH gene codes for an enzyme in the Glycolytic Pathway and is present not only in plants, but also  animals, fungi, bacteria, and protists, and the gene that codes for it is highly conserved.

Figure 1.  Crystal structure of Apo-Glyceraldehyde-3-Phosphate
Dehydrogenasefrom Palinurus Versicolor; PDB 1CRW.

Figure 2.  Amplified GAPDH genes: Lane 1 = Control; Lane 2 = PCR 
product from Kohlrabi before cleaning; Lane 3 = PCR from Kohlrabi after 
purification; Lane 4 = 500 base pair ladder.


Our lab has cloned and sequenced the GAPDH gene from kohlrabi, a member of the cabbage family.  Genomic DNA was isolated from plant leaves and amplified using PCR.  The purified gene was then cloned into the pJet plasmid (Bio Rad) and subsequently sequenced.  The GAPDH genes from yellow squash and yellow bush beans are also currently under study in our lab.

Figure 3. Restriction Digest  of pJet plasmid with Kohlrabi GAPDH gene insert. 
Lanes 1 and 4, 500 base pair ladder; Lane 2, undigested plasmid DNA; Lane 3,
digested plasmid DNA – higher band is the pJet plasmid and the lower band is
the GAPDH gene insert.