Translator Disclaimer
1 February 2015 Building a Twig Phylogeny
Author Affiliations +
Abstract

In this classroom activity, students build a phylogeny for woody plant species based on the morphology of their twigs. Using any available twigs, students can practice the process of cladistics to test evolutionary hypotheses for real organisms. They identify homologous characters, determine polarity through outgroup comparison, and construct a parsimonious tree based on synapomorphies (shared derived characters). This activity efficiently demonstrates many systematics concepts, including homology, homoplasy (convergence and reversal), polarity, synapomorphy, symplesiomorphy, autapomorphy, polytomy, and parsimony. It also engages students in inquiry, promotes student collaboration, raises awareness of plant structure, and exposes students to the diversity of common local trees.

©2015 by National Association of Biology Teachers. All rights reserved. Request permission to photocopy or reproduce article content at the University of California Press's Rights and Permissions Web site at www.ucpressjournals.com/reprintinfo.asp.
Kathryn M. Flinn "Building a Twig Phylogeny," The American Biology Teacher 77(2), 141-144, (1 February 2015). https://doi.org/10.1525/abt.2015.77.2.10
Published: 1 February 2015
JOURNAL ARTICLE
4 PAGES

This article is only available to subscribers.
It is not available for individual sale.
+ SAVE TO MY LIBRARY

SHARE
ARTICLE IMPACT
RIGHTS & PERMISSIONS
Get copyright permission
Back to Top