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Lecture 12

lecture 12 notes from prof.Barrett

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University of Toronto St. George
Spencer Barrett

Lecture 12: Introduction to evolutionary biology Assumed background knowledge Ÿ Mendelian genetics Ÿ Inheritance Ÿ Structure of DNA Ÿ Mitosis & Meiosis Ÿ Chromosomes Levels of biological organization Ÿ MoleculesàcellsàorganismsàpopulationàCommunitiesàEcosystems Question in evolutionary biology Ÿ Scope of question ○ Small questions: answering small tractable questions can help contribute towards solving a big question. ○ Large question: unlikely to be answered by one experiment; required multiple lines of evidence (ex. Why did sex evolve? Why is most biodiversity in the tropics?) Ÿ Types of question ○ How questions: involve determine the physiological or genetic mechanisms responsible for aspects of a trait ○ Why question: involve determine the ecological function and adaptive significance of a trait Approaches used in evolutionary biology Ÿ Observational: describe and quantify Ÿ Theoretical: develop models-verbal ,graphical, mathematical Ÿ Comparative: obtain same data from many species. Compare with others. Ÿ Experimental: manipulate a system to address a specific hypothesis; requires an experimental design and statistical analysis Important assumptions about evolution verified by scientific study Ÿ Organisms on earth have changed through time Ÿ The changes are gradual not instantaneous Ÿ Lineages split or branch by speciation resulting in the generation of biodiversity Ÿ All species have common ancestors Ÿ Most evolutionary change results from natural selection Simple definition Ÿ Biodiversity: the variety of life on earth; the number and kinds of living organisms in a given area. Ÿ Adaptation: 1) (noun) any trait that contributes to f
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