Finding Selection in All the Right
A College Genetics Laboratory
Inquiry-Based Learning Exercise
F. Noor and Mohamed A. F. Noor
This inquiry-based laboratory introduces
students to evolutionary genetics using
bioinformatics and biocuration.
The exercise focuses on manual curation
and analysis of genome sequences from
closely related species. Students
alignments and annotations of multiple
genes from population genomic data sets;
repair alignment errors; apply
population genetic tests for natural
selection; and finally, interpret the
results and hypothesize about the nature
of selective forces in the context of
function information available for the
Genetics Concept(s) Addressed:
Nature of genetic material: What are the molecular components and mechanisms necessary to preserve and duplicate an organism's genome?
Genetic variation: How do different
types of mutations affect genes and the
corresponding mRNAs and proteins?
Evolution and Population Genetics:
What are the processes that can affect the frequency of
genotypes and phenotypes in a population over time?
Core Competencies Addressed:
Students should be able to implement observational strategies to devise a question.
Students should be able to generate testable hypotheses.
Students should be able to design an experiment using appropriate controls and appropriate sample sizes.
Students should be able to gather and evaluate experimental evidence, including qualitative and quantitative data.
Students should be able to apply statistical methods when analyzing their data, and use patterns to construct a model.
Students should be able to critique large data sets and use bioinformatics to assess genetics data.
Beginning to intermediate
undergraduate; biology/genetics majors
Noor, J. K. F. and Noor, M. A. F.
(2013). Finding Selection in All the
Right Places: A College Genetics
Laboratory Inquiry-Based Learning
Exercise. Genetics Society of America
Peer-Reviewed Education Portal (GSA
Laboratory Justification and
Description for Instructors
Materials Needed (PDF)
TA Handout (PDF)
Student Handout (PDF)