Richard Amasino explains that plants are great tools for teaching genetics in K-12 classrooms, because they are easy and inexpensive to grow and have mutant traits that can be visualized with the naked eye. He and his colleague, Scott Woody, developed a self-fertilizing plant from Brassica rapa, a small flowering plant with a very fast lifecycle. Amasino demonstrates how easily this Brassica rapa model can be applied in different ways to teach Mendelian genetics. Visit the FPsc Genetics Resources website (http://fpsc.wisc.edu/) to learn how to order these self-fertilizing Brassica rapa seeds and obtain lesson plans and experimental protocols for the classroom.
Richard Amasino is a Distinguished Professor of Biochemistry at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Professor. His lab uses genetics and biochemistry to study plant development and the regulation of flowering. Amasino also encourages undergraduate students to explore genetics through experiments with Brassica rapa. Amasino has been honored with numerous awards for… Continue Reading