Cooper, Joshua , Gibson, J. Phil .
Teaching Plant diversity using Tree-Thinking.
Learning plant diversity and major plant evolutionary events is often challenging for Introductory Biology students. We used a tree-thinking exercise to improve their understanding of phylogenies and major patterns of plant evolution. We had students evaluate five "unknown" major groups of plants, build a morphologic character matrix using algae as an out-group, and construct a phylogeny using PAUP. Next, students constructed a molecular tree based on the chloroplast rbcL gene sequences. Using the two trees, they were able to plot morphologic characters on both and explore trait evolution. This approach not only helps them to understand phylogenies, but makes it easier to remember characteristics of groups. This approach provides a framework for students to understand the evolution of vascular tissue, seeds, flowers, alternation of generations, and how these unite groups based on shared derived traits.
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1 - University Of Oklahoma, Botany & Microbiology, 770 Van Vleet Oval East, Norman, OK, 73019, USA
2 - University of Oklahoma, Department of Botany & Microbiology, 770 Van Vleet Oval, Norman, OK, 73019, USA
Presentation Type: Poster:Posters for Sections
Location: Battelle South/Convention Center
Date: Monday, July 9th, 2012
Time: 5:30 PM