Finishing up the Artificial Selection in Fastplants

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Last Fall I completed the first round of an artificial selection experiment using Fastplants similar to one described in the new AP Biology Lab manual.  I finally got around to planted, growing and scoring the second generation of seeds selected for higher trichome numbers.

Here are some of the seed pods that I collected and kept stored over the winter in a paper envelope.

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I was able to conscript some student labor–a future biology teacher–to help planting the second generation.

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This generation seemed to grow more slowly than the first. Today is the 14th day of growing and usually by now most of the plants are flowering. Hmmmm, I wander if the plants are putting so much energy into producing hairs that they have to slow down other processes? They certainly looked like hairier plants but honestly I forgot how hairy the first generation was.

Here’s what the plants looked like today. They not only seem to be a bit behind but they also seem to have quite a bit more plants that haven’t quite developed right. Of course, this population comes from a pretty small parent population so we may already be seeing sign of inbreeding depression—hmmm, sounds like an experiment.

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And now for the results (just in graph form) for now. I may follow-up with more analysis later. The error bars on the bar graph represent 2 standard errors and thus serve to approximate 95% confidence intervals. Note that both distributions approximate a normal distribution so we would be safe to use parametric descriptive and inferential statistics.

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I’m not putting forth any conclusions right now but you are welcome to.

BW

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