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Revised College Genetics Laboratory Exercise for Witnessing Phenotypic and Molecular Evolution in the Fruit Fly

This is an update to a published laboratory that allows students to observe both phenotypic and molecular evolution through natural selection in a population of fruit flies (Drosophila simulans). The activity takes advantage of eye color variation and molecular variation in a live model organism to demonstrate concepts of transmission genetics and evolutionary genetics. To make this exercise more accessible to a broader audience of novice fly handlers, the authors constructed strains of Drosophila melanogaster that eliminate the difficult, time-consuming steps of collecting virgin females to be used in crosses, and designed new markers to be used with this species. This revision describes the changes to the activity, how the strains were constructed, and results from a test-run of the revised activity. This activity utilizes the protocol and concepts originally published in Evolution: Education and Outreach in 2012 by Caiti Heil, Mika Hunter, Juliet Noor, Kathleen Miglia, Brenda Manzano-Winkler, Shannon McDermott, and Mohamed Noor; any of the original materials are included here with permission, and can also be accessed at the Noor Lab website.

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