Allele and Phenotype Frequencies in Rock Pocket Mouse Populations
This activity reinforces concepts of variation and natural selection covered in the short film Natural Selection and Adaptation. Students apply the Hardy-Weinberg equation to real data collected on rock pocket mouse populations.
Students begin by watching the film and reviewing the basic principles of the Hardy-Weinberg theorem. They then apply Hardy-Weinberg to data collected by Michael Nachman and his colleagues on the coat color of rock pocket mouse populations in Arizona and New Mexico. In an extension activity, students can use the accompanying spreadsheet to explore how the selection coefficient(s) influences the coat color phenotype of future generations.
Student Learning Targets
- Explain how variation, selection, and time fuel the process of evolution.
- Use the Hardy-Weinberg equation to calculate the number of mice with homozygous and heterozygous genotypes for dark fur color.
- Explain the relationship between the selection coefficient and natural selection.
adaptation, convergent evolution, ecological niche, ecomorph, evolution, phylogenetic tree
Michael W. Nachman, Hopi E. Hoekstra, and Susan L. D'Agostino. “The genetic basis of adaptive melanism in pocket mice.” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 100, 9 (2003): 5268–5273. https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.0431157100.
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HS-LS3-1, HS-LS3-3, HS-LS4-2, HS-LS4-3, HS-LS4-4, HS-LS4-5; SEP2, SEP4, SEP5, SEP6
AP Biology (2019)
EVO-1.C, EVO-1.D, EVO-1.E, EVO-1.G, EVO-1.H, EVO-1.J, EVO-1.K, EVO-3.A, SYI-3.D, IST-2.E, IST-4.A, IST-4.B; SP1, SP4, SP5, SP6
IB Biology (2016)
3.1, 5.2, 10.3
AP Environmental Science (2020)
Topic(s): 2.1, 3.1, 3.5
Learning Objectives & Practices: ERT-2.A, ERT-3.A, ERT-3.F, SP6
IB Environmental Systems and Societies (2017)
3.1, 5.1, 5.2, 10.3
Common Core (2010)
Math.A-REI.3, Math.A-REI.5; MP2, MP4
Vision and Change (2009)
CC1, CC3; DP1, DP2, DP3