Natural Selection and Evolution of Rock Pocket Mouse Populations
This activity supports concepts covered in the film Natural Selection and Adaptation. Students analyze genetic sequence data and draw conclusions about the evolution of coat-color phenotypes in the rock pocket mouse.
The activity begins with students reading a magazine article and watching the film. They then use a genetic code chart, to determine the amino acids encoded by a sequence of the Mc1r gene in different mouse populations. They then compare amino acid sequences to identify variations associated with different coat colors.
Student Learning Targets
Explain the connection between genotype and phenotype.
Make claims about the evolution of coat color in different rock pocket mouse populations based on evidence from amino acid sequences.
amino acid, gene expression, mRNA, mutation, protein
Nachman, Michael W., 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-LS1-1, HS-LS3-2, HS-LS4-2, HS-LS4-4, HS-LS4-5; SEP6
1.A.1, 1.A.2, 1.A.3, 3.A.1; SP6