Coming into Flower

Consider this the “breaking news” section to alert visitors to the availability of new FPsc mutants or other genetic resources, including classroom lesson plans. As events warrant we will also use this section to promote upcoming outreach events, publications related to FPsc resources, and to highlight recent classroom implementations and experiences as kindly provided by users.

FPsc at WSST, NSTA: Two FPsc outreach events are in the offing: FPsc plant genetic resources and suggestions for classroom use will be on offer in the University of Wisconsin-Madison Science Alliance booth in the exhibition hall at the Wisconsin Society of Science Teachers (WSST) annual meeting in Appleton, WI March 12-16. FPsc resources will also be presented in the American Society of Plant Biologists (ASPB) booth at the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA) annual meeting in Boston, MA, April 2-6. Program Director Scott Woody will host the FPsc station in the booth at NSTA and will also conduct a workshop (#2156) on Thursday, April 3, 8-9 a.m. entitled “Genetics Education in the Age of Genomics”. Please stop by to say hello at either event, you may just walk away with some free FPsc seeds and new ideas about how to more effectively teach genetics to your students.

Public release of the FPsc genome sequence: The Joint Genome Institute (JGI), the DNA sequencing agency arm of the US Department of Energy (DOE) released the whole genome sequence (WGS) of the FPsc wild type variety in February, 2014 on their web portal Phytozome. Click on the link and you can browse the FPsc genome, conduct BLAST searches, or just revel in the fact that this amazing resource—a more-or-less complete description of each base-pair that comprises the ~550,000,000 (that’s 550 Mbp) genome of our B. rapa educational model system is available to aid in student education in areas of genetics, evolution, and genomic sciences.

Genetic Analogies paper now available in the November, 2013 “Genetics Emphasis” edition of American Biology Teacher: We are excited to announce that a manuscript, “Understanding & Teaching Genetics Using Analogies,” coathored by Scott Woody and Ed Himelblau, is in the present edition of ABT. A pdf version of the article and downloadable images that bring the analogies to life are available here.

Planting Seeds

Germs of ideas that emerge from discussions and from other considerations of how to make best use of FPsc genetic resources, or new initiatives under development but “not ready for prime time.” We especially welcome contributions from visitors/users of FPsc resources and if you have an idea that you’d like to share please email it to swoody@wisc.edu.

The Mating Game is an active-learning exercise in which students draw pairs of tokens meant to represent allelic alternatives in the gene pool of a species to model Mendel’s laws of segregation and independent assortment. Playing boards used to implement the exercise, a teachers’ implementation guide, and a problem sheet that may be useful to guide students’ exploration of these fundamental genetic principles are available here.

Development continues apace on a molecular mapping simulation “app.” Working with programmers from the UW-Madison Academic Technology department, the sim will enable students to conduct virtual PCRs and gel analyses to map mutant loci within the FPsc genome.

Last updated on February 25, 2015

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