Understanding Evolution: your one-stop source for information on evolution
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Lesson summary for:
Pea taste


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This case study in the form of a set of PowerPoint slides examines the evolution of the wrinkled pea from its ancestral round pea shape.


Grade level:

one to two class periods

Teaching tips:
This series of slides provides direct links to studies and data sets and integrates active learning strategies such as discussion questions and problem solving. Students could review the website or ppt slides before class and questions could be source of class discussion. This exercise would be appropriate during or after the introduction of Mendelian genetics.

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 is often defined as a change in allele frequencies within a population.

  • The Hardy-Weinberg equation describes expectations about the gene pool of a population that is not evolving—one that is very large, mates randomly, and does not experience mutation, natural selection, or gene flow.

  • New heritable traits can result from mutations.

  • Mutation is a random process.

  • Organisms cannot intentionally produce adaptive mutations in response to environmental influences.

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

Teacher background:

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