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Exploring the Introduction of Genetic Variation by Random Mutation: Avida-Ed Lab Book Exercise 1

Author(s): Cory Kohn1, Amy Lark, Jim Smith2, Louise Mead3, Robert T Pennock2, Wendy Johnson

1. Keck Science Department, The Claremont Colleges 2. Michigan State University 3. BEACON Center for the Study of Evolution in Action

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An introductory activity introducing the role of random mutation in generating genetic variation using the Avida-ED simulation.

Licensed under CC Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International according to these terms

Version 1.0 - published on 17 May 2020 doi:10.25334/6JBZ-2B07 - cite this


Biological organisms can exhibit both genotypic (genetic information) and phenotypic (expressed trait) variation. Similarly, the organisms in Avida-ED – called Avidians – also have genotypes and phenotypes. An Avidian’s genotype is the entire sequence of instructions in its genome, and its phenotype is its ability to reproduce and perform functions.
Student Learning Goals

  • Students will be able to explain what it means to say that mutations occur at random.
  • Students will be able to explain that mutations occurring during each individual’s reproduction leads to genotypic variation in the population.

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