Witnessing evolution first hand: A K-12 laboratory exercise in genetics & evolution using drosophila


Journal Article

We present a laboratory exercise that leverages student interest in genetics to observe and understand evolution by natural selection. Students begin with white-eyed fruit fly populations, to which they introduce a single advantageous variant (one male with red eyes). The superior health and vision associated with having the red-eye-color allele confers a fitness advantage, and the students can watch the spread of the allele within the population. The increasing numbers of red-eyed flies they observe over generations demonstrate evolution by natural selection. The students concurrently learn genetic principles, including basic inheritance and X-linkage. © 2013 by National Association of Biology Teachers.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Heil, CSS; Manzano-Winkler, B; Hunter, MJ; Noor, JKF; Noor, MAF

Published Date

  • February 1, 2013

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 75 / 2

Start / End Page

  • 116 - 119

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0002-7685

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1525/abt.2013.75.2.8

Citation Source

  • Scopus