Creating Phylogenetic Trees from DNA Sequences
This interactive module shows how DNA sequences can be used to infer evolutionary relationships among organisms and represent them as phylogenetic trees.
Phylogenetic trees are diagrams of evolutionary relationships among organisms. Scientists can estimate these relationships by studying the organisms’ DNA sequences. As the organisms evolve and diverge, their DNA sequences accumulate mutations. Scientists compare these mutations using sequence alignments to reconstruct evolutionary history.
The accompanying “Worksheet” guides students’ exploration of the Click & Learn.
Student Learning Targets
- Explain how molecular sequences, such as DNA, can be used to study evolutionary relationships.
- Summarize the process and goals of DNA sequence alignment.
- Interpret a simple phylogenetic tree.
bioinformatics, DNA sequencing, evolutionary tree, indel, molecular phylogeny, mutation, sequence alignment, single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP)
Accessibility Level (WCAG compliance)
HS-LS4-1; SEP2, SEP4, SEP6
AP Biology (2019)
EVO-1.N, EVO-3.B, EVO-3.C, IST-4.A; SP1, SP2, SP6
IB Biology (2016)
5.1, 5.4, B.5
AP Environmental Science (2020)
Learning Objectives & Practices: ERT-2.H, SP5
IB Environmental Systems and Societies (2017)
Common Core (2010)
Vision and Change (2009)
CC1; DP1, DP3