Understanding Evolution: your one-stop source for information on evolution
Resource library Teaching materials Evolution 101

Lesson summary for:
Webcast: Selection in action

Overview:
In lecture two of a four part series, evolutionary biologist David Kingsley discusses how just a few small genetic changes can have a big effect on morphology, using examples from maize, dog breeding, and stickleback fish.
This lecture is available from Howard Hughes' BioInteractive website.

Author/Source:
Howard Hughes Medical Institute

Grade level:
13-16

Time:
60 minutes

Teaching tips:
Though originally developed for high school students, this lecture will also be useful for college students.

Concepts:
Correspondence to the Next Generation Science Standards is indicated in parentheses after each relevant concept. See our conceptual framework for details.

  • Artificial selection provides a model for natural selection.

  • People selectively breed domesticated plants and animals to produce offspring with preferred characteristics.

  • Evolution results from natural selection acting upon genetic variation within a population.

  • Complex structures may be produced incrementally by the accumulation of smaller advantageous mutations.

  • Speciation is the splitting of one ancestral lineage into two or more descendent lineages.

  • Occupying new environments can provide new selection pressures and new opportunities, leading to speciation.

  • As with other scientific disciplines, evolutionary biology has applications that factor into everyday life, for example in agriculture, biodiversity and conservation biology, and medicine and health.

  • Scientists use multiple lines of evidence (including morphological, developmental, and molecular evidence) to infer the relatedness of taxa.

  • Scientists use experimental evidence to study evolutionary processes.

  • Scientists use artificial selection as a model to learn about natural selection.

Teacher background:

<< Back to search results