Abstract: Designed as a whole‐class experiment, students work in teams to grow a selected strain of Brassica rapa plants from seed to seed, and monitor plant traits as they develop over the course of a life cycle. Observations and measurements are made, pooled with data from other teams, and analyzed for discrete traits (the result of one gene), and continuous or quantitative traits (the result of multiple genes). Plants are grown in populations large enough so the variation of traits within a population can be documented and analyzed. Such variation within populations is foundational to understanding selection and evolution. Plants will also be grown in two environments to illustrate the principle that a phenotype is the result of an organism’s genotype interacting with its environment. Students communicate with scientist mentors online to discuss their experiment.
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