Variation and Evolution Discussion Questions

Variation and Evolution Discussion Questions
Quick questions
1 How frequently do mutations lead to a new phenotype?
2 How long ago did simple life forms first develop?
3 What is another term for artificial selection?
Exam-style questions
4 Differences in the characteristics of individuals in a population is
called variation.
4–1 Describe the two causes of variation. [2]
4–2 There is usually extensive genetic variation within a population
of a species. All variants happen due to changes in genes called
mutations. Mutations occur continuously.
Describe how likely it is that a mutation will impact the
phenotype of an organism. [2]
4–3 Explain how mutations can lead to rapid change in a species. [3]
Total: 7
5 Humans have been selectively breeding plants and animals for
particular characteristics for thousands of years.
5–1 Give three useful characteristics that can be selected for. [3]
5–2 Selective breeding can be used to breed cattle that produce more
meat or milk.
Describe how a farmer could selectively breed cattle that produce
a large volume of milk. [4]
5–3 Selective breeding can lead to inbreeding. Give one reason why
inbreeding is a disadvantage. [1]
Total: 8
6 Genetic engineering involves modifying the genome of an
organism by introducing a gene from another organism to give a
desired characteristic.
Crops that have had their genes modified in this way are called
genetically modified (GM) crops. Some plant crops have been
genetically engineered to be resistant to diseases.
6–1 Give two other characteristics that have been introduced into GM
plant crops. [2]
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The development of understanding of genetics and evolution
41
6–2 Bacterial cells have been genetically engineered to produce
useful substances. Name one useful substance produced by
genetically modified bacteria. [1]
6–3 Banana crops can be destroyed by a fungal disease called TR4. A
gene from a nematode worm can cause resistance to the fungus
that causes TR4. The nematode gene can be used to produce GM
banana crops resistant to TR4.
Describe the main steps in the process of genetic engineering to
produce banana crops resistant to TR4.
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