Introduction and Objectives

In this laboratory project, you will investigate the inheritance of traits (genes) in a small plant named Brassica rapa. Specifically, using the Mendelian model, you will develop hypotheses concerning: (1) the presence or absence of anthocyanin, which is a red-purple pigment found in stems; (2) the presence or absence of variegation, green and white leaves or (3) the expression of yellow-green color in cotyledons, leaves and stems. After formulating hypotheses and writing a protocol, you will carry out two separate experiments to test your hypotheses. Both experiments will require approximately 8 weeks to complete and will be considered a continuing Independent Research Project (I.R.P.). Working in pairs, you the students are solely responsible for the planting and caring of plants, completing the genetic crosses, and collecting the scientific data. Then, working independently, each of you will design and write a Scientific Paper, reporting the results of your experiments.

Since performing these experiments will be a collaborative effort, all data (from all student pairs) will be pooled upon the completion of each experiment. You may share information for the Materials and Methods and Results sections of your papers. However, the Introduction, Discussion, and References Cited sections must be the product of your own personal library research and creative thinking. It is highly suggested that you begin your library research early , ie., LIAS and Internet. Remember, your Introduction is due in my office on or before exact date will be announced.

We will be performing Experiment One and Experiment Two this semester.

Overview of Experiment One

Overview of Experiment Two

Overview of Experiment Three


  1. Genetic Vocabulary. Students will acquire and communicate the language of genetics.
  2. Mendelian Inheritance. Students will make monohybrid crosses and predict offspring using Mendelian laws.
  3. Non-Mendelian Inheritance. Students will delve into various non-mendelian topics.
  4. Chi-square Test. Students will analyze their observed results and compare them statistically with their expected results using the Chi-square test.
  5. Scientific Method. Students will follow this method to carry out each aspect of this project, ie., propose a hypothesis, make predictions, collect data, observe and compare results. A Protocol and Scientific Paper will be written in this format.
  6. Scientific Responsibility and Dedication. Students will be solely responsible for the care and maintenance of their plants and the collection of their teams data for 8 weeks.
  7. Plant Growth and Development Students will follow the entire life cycle of the fast plant, Brassica rapa from seed to seed in 35 days. Students will witness germination shoot elongation, budding and flowering, pollination, and seed formation.

Main Page | Introduction and Objectives | Scientific Investigation | Experimental Procedures | Writing Procedures | Mendelian InheritanceMonohybrid and Dihybrid Exercises | Reference | Miscellaneous | Overview of Experiment One | Overview of Experiment Two | Overview of Experiment Three |