Foundations of Genetics: Team Carrot

Project by group cmsmulcaheyspring2021


Info

Explore We know that plants need light and water to grow. Plants also require oxygen to survive, as most of the living things on Planet Earth need oxygen. We can infer that out plants only need their bottles filled up once every couple days to ensure the rope keeps moisturizing the soil. The water supply...
Research Question Will more fertilizer or rocks help or hurt the growth of the seeds?
Predictions I think more fertilizer will help the seed grow because when the landscaping company comes to my house they put down fertilizer to help the grass be healthier and grow so I think it will do the same for our seeds.
Experimental Design Our plan is to change the circumstances with our seedling growth. We can do this by changing amount of fertalizer from the control amount to a different variable, and test our hypothesis. We can also change to amount of rock layer on our plant from the control to a new varible, and see how it...
Conclusion 1. A claim we can make from our experiments is that there are advantages for a plant to have certain traits because it can help them blend in for use of camouflage and help make themselves more scary. Another advantage it could help protect itself from certain climates. Another claim we can make...
About this Project

They have been consistent in asking questions & uploading documents that help the mentor understand what they are doing. The students and mentor communicated frequently. They discussed the experiment and science/scientists.
-- Andrew Schnabel, Scientist Mentor

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PlantingScience Staff
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Hello everyone!

It looks like the problem is resolved and everything should be back to normal. Please feel free to resume posting, and do let us know if you experience any issues posting to your projects.
Andrew Schnabel
said

Hello Team Carrot -

It looks like you've uploaded your final postings about the project, and you all seem to have reached different conclusions, even though you were looking at exactly the same plants and the same data.  There is a lot to digest in what you've written, so let me comment on a just a couple of things.

1) What claim can we make from our experiment?

I've looked at your data files and your graphs, and it seems to me that you have no differences among treatments.  There is a lot of variation among plants, but no consistent difference in growth among the three treatments.  This means that whatever variable you were manipulating had no effect on growth.  I'm still not completely clear about what your independent variable was (something do to with rocks and water?), but whatever you manipulated, it didn't change the way the plants grew.  This seems to be the only claim you could make from your experiment.

2) What are possible explanations for our results?

This is where things get tricky.  Your data are very messy - lots of variation from plant to plant.  Based on your remarks and photos, some of your plants had unexpected growth patterns.  As a group, you don't seem to agree about the explanations for all this variation, especially with respect to the relative importance of genes vs environment.  At least one person is attributing everything to genes, whereas others are emphasizing environmental variation.  Since I don't know the full details of your experiment, I won't try to resolve these differences, but I can suggest a couple of things to think about. 

First, your class experiment into testing for a 9:3:3:1 ratio suggests to me that you did not use genetically uniform seeds.  You were expecting to see genetic variation with respect to the traits you measured for the 9:3:3:1 ratio.  Thus, there was probably also genetic variation for the quantitative traits you measured in your own experiment.  Different plants had different genotypes.  This means that you can't attribute all the variation you see only to the environment.

Second, I read at least one remark about possible environmental variation in your experiment, beyond the planned variation based on manipulation of the independent variable.  I would be surprised if you managed to keep all other environmental variables completely uniform across treatments.  That's very difficult to do, even by professional botanists.  Thus, I think you can safely assume that the growth of your plants was also affected by environmental variation that was possibly beyond your control.  This means that you can't attribute all the variation you see only to genes.

The conclusion then is that a lot of the variation you saw was probably due to a combination of genetic differences among plants and environmental variation in the experimental set-up.  This may seem anticlimactic, but it is actually a very important conclusion.  The variation you see in nature, whether in plants, people, aardvarks, mushrooms or any other organism, will inevitably be explained by a combination of genetic variation and environmental variation.

I don't know where you are going from here on this project, but I suspect that you are wrapping things up and moving on to other things.  It's been a pleasure to work with you.  You should congratulate yourselves on completing such a complex project.  You wrestled with some difficult questions, and I was impressed with the depth of thinking that you were applying to those questions.

Your sincerely,

Andrew Schnabel

PlantingScience Staff
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Hello everyone!

We are aware of some technical issues with the platform, leading to an issue with posting to project pages and issues with users' dashboards. We are working diligently with our developer to resolve them as quickly as possible. Please be patient and keep checking your projects so you can post your hellos, updates, reports, thank-yous, and goodbyes.

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Alexander
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4. Based off of… A. your group results, B. your class results, C. 9th grade CM Biology results, did we actually see this pattern of traits be expressed? Check the Mustard Seed Master Class Data sheet for this information and use it as evidence in your claims below.

Which level of the population (A, B, and/or C) showed the 9:3:3:1 phenotypic ratio? If your results varied from this ratio, please explain how that could occur with 3 claims. (15 points)

In the graph of Discrete Traits for our data, we did not see this exact ratio. First, this could be because of human error. Some people may have forgotten to write down the proper traits, or at all. Second, it could be because some of the plants died before the results were over, leaving the ratio off. And finally, it could be because some plants changed color as they grew. Drawing from personal experience and

6a. An organism exists as an expression of its inherited genes interacting in an environmental context (Phenotype = Genotype X Environment).

Yes, this statement is true. Both Genotypes and Environment influence Phenotypes. For example, for our plant Mustard seeds, the Genotype might have said it would be Straight and Wrinkled. But because of our environmental variable of not having rocks, instead of the plants being straight, they were twisted due to lack of rock support.

6b. Inheritance of genes occurs via the life cycle of an organism through successful reproduction of offspring.

Yes, this statement is true. During reproduction, the child gets one allele from each parent, which come together to form genes. Each allele is dominant and recessive, which effects the circumstances which the new Phenotype, or physical trait, takes form. We know this because it is evidenced in the child showing traits from both parents.

6e. Science is an active process of inquiry, investigation, and communication.

This statement is true. It is evidenced in the Scientific Method. The Scientific Method is a tool used by researchers and scientists to plan and conduct their work. It has 8 steps. First make an observation, then ask a question, research the question for existing answers, data, or solutions, propose a hypothesis on the question, then design and carry out your experiment, test the hypothesis to accept or reject it, make a conclusion and answer your question, and finally report your findings so other can build off it, try the experiment themselves, or answer their own questions. Almost all experiments revolve around these steps. In the Scientific Method, you are inquiring, investigating, and communicating.

Alexander
uploaded Bio Team Carrot Average Heights Graph.png in project files
Alexander
said

Alexander
said

1. What claim can we make from our experiment?

Yes, traits are effected by the environment. In our experiment, Bottle C had a variable of no rocks in its top layer of soil. Because of this, while the plants in Bottle C had roughly the same height as the other bottles, all of its plants were lopsided and did not grow straight, while the others with rocks did.

2. What are possible explanations for our results?

Some possible explanations could be genes. The phenotypic traits of our plants parents could have influenced our results. Envirnment also could have played a factor, with different envirnmental variables greatly influencing plant traits group to group.

3. How do the data we collected and our reasoning with scientific ideas support our claim?

The data we collected proves that envirnment changes phenotypic traits, because data varied from group to group. We know that they all had the same parents, so the only way they could have varied would be through the envirnment.

4. What future experiments could be done to expand on the results of this experiment?

We could take the plants that we grew and then breed them together, to further see if the new traits developed would carry onto the next plants in line.

    Alexander
    said

Aidan
said

1. A claim we can make from our experiments is that there are advantages for a plant to have certain traits because it can help them blend in for use of camouflage and help make themselves more scary. Another advantage could it could help protect itself from certain climates. Another claim we can make is traits are not affected by environment because it is all genetics for how the plants look.
2. Some possible explanations for our results could be the genes that their parents had and what the plants look like. To answer our essential question the way the plant looks is totally based off the genes it has. Another possible explanation for our results are the environments our plants were in were consistently changing temperature but they didn't change.

3. Our plants did well with more soil, because the soil soaks up for water, causing the plant to become hydrated without becoming drowned. The soil can also help the plant become more rooted in it, helping the plant have its roots expand and have more breathing room (literally). The soil can also help the plants stay firmly inside the bottle. 
4. We could test and see if the plants do better with fertilizer than soil. Maybe the fertilizer soaks up more soil, causing us to need less water to not kill the plant. If we change up the sand-particle, then we can test and see what works better for plants opposed to that which works worse.

PlantingScience Staff
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Looks like you are in the final stages of your projects.

It’s great to see that teams from your school are wrapping up and posting conclusions. Enjoy the final stages of your project, and feel free to post any final comments or questions you have for your mentors.

You have until Tuesday, April 25, 2021, for final posts to be added, so please be sure to thank your fellow teammates soon!