Pelvic Evolution in Sticklebacks
This activity guides the analysis of a published scientific figure from a study that used SNP genotyping to identify the mutations that result in morphological differences in stickleback fish.
Threespine stickleback fish from marine populations usually have a pelvis with protective spines. Some freshwater sticklebacks, however, either partially or completely lack a pelvis. In this study, scientists investigated the mutations behind these morphological differences using SNP genotyping. Panel A of the figure shows SNP genotyping results for nine stickleback populations with reduced or absent pelvises. The scientists used these data to estimate the locations of deletion mutations in each population. Panel B shows the sources of each population.
The “Educator Materials” document includes a captioned figure, background information, graph interpretation, and discussion questions. The “Student Handout” includes a captioned figure and background information.
Student Learning Targets
- Analyze and interpret data from a scientific figure.
- Describe how genotyping techniques can be used to identify genes associated with certain traits.
- Describe how changes in genotype, such as deletion mutations, can lead to change in phenotype.
body morphology, DNA sequence deletion, enhancer, gene map, mutation, noncoding region, pituitary homeobox transcription factor 1 (Pitx1), single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP), SNP genotyping
Chan, Yingguang F., Melissa E. Marks, Felicity C. Jones, Guadalupe Villarreal Jr., Michael D. Shapiro, Shannon D. Brady, Audrey M. Southwick, et al. “Adaptive Evolution of Pelvic Reduction in Sticklebacks by Recurrent Deletion of a Pitx1 Enhancer.” Science 327, 5963 (2010): 302–305. https://doi.org/10.1126/science.1182213.
To access this article, set up a free AAAS account. An annotated version of the article is also available from Science in the Classroom.
Accessibility Level (WCAG compliance)
HS-LS4-1, HS-LS4-2, HS-LS4-4, HS-LS3-1; SEP2, SEP4, SEP5
AP Biology (2019)
EVO-1.H, EVO-1.J, EVO-1.N, IST-1.J; SP1, SP2, SP4
IB Biology (2016)
Common Core (2010)
Math.S-IC.1; MP2, MP5
Vision and Change (2009)
CC1, CC3; DP2, DP3