How do biotic and abiotic factors affect populations?
Create experiments to test how abiotic factors impact soybean germination, go into the field and laboratory to determine the impact of aphid populations on soybeans, and experiment with aphid resistant genes (Rag genes) to determine their effectiveness against soybean aphids.
What Is in a Seed?
Dissect a seed of a monocot (corn) and a dicot (soybean).
Watch a powerpoint that introduces aphids, their reproduction capabilities, and their food requirements. Complete an Aphid Population Density Field Study by visiting a local soybean field and determining the density of aphid populations using a quadrat method or use a scouting method to determine the extent of aphids in a field, then determine when/if pesticide should be used. Grow varieties of aphid resistant soybeans, then infest them with aphids. Over a period of two-three weeks, record population changes on each variety.
Losses to farmers from insects and plant disease can amount to millions of dollars each year. Growers are continuously looking to new methods to help reduce the impact of pests on crops. Population ecology concepts can be used to study growth of pest populations and the effects of limiting factors on pest populations.
Soybean aphids, an economically important pest in the United States, pierce soybean tissues and feed on the sap, causing average yield losses of 20-30%, and up to 70% if left untreated. Soybean Rag (Resistance to Aphis glycines) genes can be an answer. These genes are naturally occurring in soybeans and help the crop to resist soybean aphids. Soybean researchers are attempting to breed soybeans to stack multiple Rag genes to produce resistant varieties that will lower the use of pesticide treatments and protect yields. Aphids and Rag gene soybean seeds are available for use in education from the following resources: see Contacts for Seed and Aphids.pdf
Next gen standards
Science and engineering practices
Planning and carrying out investigations
Analyzing and interpreting data
Obtaining, evaluating, and communicating information
Cause and effect
Systems and system models
Structure and function
Stability and change
Disciplinary core ideas/content
ESS3C Human impacts on Earth systems
LS1A Structure and Function
LS1B Growth and development of organisms
LS1D Information processing
LS2C Ecosystem dynamics, functioning and resilience
How will we feed 9 billion people? Grow soybeans using Round-Up Ready seeds to illustrate how biotechnology can be used as a tool to increase production. Introduce students to different options for growing soybeans, investigate no-till farming …
Why do some plants grow and some do not? Participate in a simulation that shows how various factors influence plant growth and what role probability plays. Powerpoint with instructions and information included.
How do sterilization techniques affect our ability to preserve and culture organisms? In vitro collecting (IVC) is the process of starting plant tissue cultures with minimal disturbance to the plants when viable seeds are not available. Become the field researcher and learn …