186P 13-18 - 13 In some species of Acacia trees individuals that grow in the shade have delicate feather like leaves while individuals that grow in

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13. In some species of Acacia trees, individuals that grow in the shade have delicate feather like leaves, while individuals that grow in the bright sun have tough leathery leaves. Explain how biologists use the common garden experiment to determine whether this difference is genetic or environmental. Lecture 10/05 18:30 mark The common garden experiment used in biology to figure out whether observed differences are due to environmental differences or transmitted genetic differences. Within plants biologists take seeds from two plants with two distinct phenotypes and grow in exactly same environmental conditions with same sunlight, soil etc. (Ex. Grow in greenhouse). If the cause for phenotypic differences is genetic, then plants will grow exactly the same. If environmental cause, plants will grow differently. In the case of the Acacia trees a biologist would take the seeds from both the tree that grows in the bright sun and has tough leathery leaves and the trees that grow in the shade and have delicate leaves. The biologist would then grow the trees in the exact same environment where the trees are receiving the same amount of sunshine. If the trees still showed the phenotypic difference of having tough and delicate leaves, then the biologist could conclude that the individuals in this species have developed genetic adaptations over time, that is possibly in response to their environment. If the trees grow the same type of leaves, it can be concluded that the tree with leathery leaves has made a temporary adaptation to growing in sunlight and the tree with delicate leaves has not, but that it is not part of the genetic makeup of the acacia tree. Within humans, common garden experiments have proved that people tend to hold onto many cultural values even if their environments are changed. This is evidence that there is a genetic or culturally transmitted component to human behaviors that is not a product of their environment. Natural examples of common garden experiment in humans:
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This note was uploaded on 11/24/2009 for the course ANTHRO 186P taught by Professor Boyd during the Fall '09 term at UCLA.

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186P 13-18 - 13 In some species of Acacia trees individuals that grow in the shade have delicate feather like leaves while individuals that grow in

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