Days to Teach:
Construction and interpretation of phylogenetic tree (45 min) Comparison of phylogenetic tree to current models (20 min with discussion)
Teaching Tips / Activity Overview:
- Follow the procedures outlined in "mtDNA Amplification and comparison" in the Bioinformatics Activity Bank to get your DNA sequences.
- Put a file on each classroom computers that contains the mtDNA sequences of selected individuals in the class. In my classes I would choose 2 European students, 2 Asian students, and 2 African students.
- My school has an incredibly diverse international population; every year I have students from Ethiopia, Kenya, South Korea, China as well as students of African, European, and Hispanic decent. If you do not have the diversity of students in your classes, you can have students select modern human mtDNA sequences to create more diversity.
- Introduction-The teacher will review how we obtained mtDNA sequences and give a brief overview of what we will be using them for today.
- Activity-Students will work in groups of 2 in a computer lab and follow the instructions on the "Construction of a Phylogenetic Tree of Modern Humans" handout.
- Wrap-up: The teacher will lead the students in a discussion of the difficulties they had and why they think the encountered those difficulties.