MadSci Network: General Biology

Re: What would be a good plant and animal to have students study all year?

Date: Fri May 24 10:15:13 2002
Posted By: Andrea Riegler, Grad student, Biological and Agricultural Engineering, North Carolina State University
Area of science: General Biology
ID: 1021942957.Gb

As far as plants go, I could recommend several: corn, soybeans, marigolds, 
sweet peas, sunflowers.  It all depends on how much room you have.  All of 
the above plants are pretty hardy and come up quickly.  They are also 
amenable to genetic studies, especially the flowers.  Ecology lessons 
should be pretty easy regardless of which plant you use but biochemistry 
and cell biology I'm not sure about.  I would think biochemistry would need 
to be relegated to theory and illustration.  A lot is *known* about the 
biochemistry of these plants so that might be helpful.  As far as cell 
biology goes, I don't know how easy it is to view the cells of these 
plants.  It might be really easy - I just don't know.

For animals, I would think something that reproduces quickly would be best.  
Fish are easy to grow and several species - guppies in particular - will 
reproduce quickly.  Rodents are another option.  Mice reproduce quickly, 
you can tracy genetics easily, the biochemistry is known and I think cells 
would be fairly easy to get.

In either case, I could check out a biological supply company like Carolina 
Biological (  They 
usually have kits and things that might be applicable

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