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Plantfairies and plantmonsters: Adventures in Mendelian geneticsFeatured science projectScience project video

Discussion

Which cross yields more harmless plantfairies, the cross between a purebred plantfairy and heterozygous plantfairy (step 2) or between two heterozygous plantfairies (step 3)? Which genotypes do you recommend for extermination and why?

Questions & Answers

Can you think of any examples of organisms that have undergone a mutation that can be harmful to people?

Bacteria regularly mutate such that they become resistant to antibiotics. MRSA, also known as methycillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus, is one such example of bacteria that is resistant to treatment with antibiotics. Treating infections from resistant bacteria is one of the challenges that hospitals face.

What is a mutation at the genetic level?

A mutation is a change in the DNA sequence that can be as simple as a change to a single nucleotide, such as a substitution or loss, or a change to more than one nucleotide. It can affect both coding and non-coding segments of the DNA.

What causes mutations?

Mutations can occur naturally in the process of replicating DNA for cell division. There are also factors in the environment called mutagens that can cause mutation. Some examples of mutagens are ultraviolet light, certain chemical compounds as well as viruses and bacteria.

Make it Your Own

Design your own biocontrol breeding experiments that go terribly wrong. Choose two traits in this organism that mutate into a form that?s dangerous to humans. Perform dihybrid crosses as in steps 2 and 3 and analyze your results.

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