This project was prepared as part of a BioQUEST faculty development workshop entitled Bioinformatics in Biology Education: Working with Sequence, Structure and Function at Oklahoma City Community College in January 2005. The BioQUEST Curriculum Consortium is committed to the reform of undergraduate biology instruction through an emphasis on engaging students in realistic scientific practices. This approach is sometimes characterized as an inquiry driven approach and is captured in BioQUEST's three P's (problem-posing, problem-solving, and peer-persuasion). As part of this workshop groups of faculty were encouraged to initiate innovative curricular projects. We are sharing these works in progress in the hope that they will stimulate further exploration, collaboration and development. Please see the following links for additional information:

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Mammalian Evolution Using IRBP Gene
Authors          Audiences          Overview           Materials          Resources           Future Directions



Mike Morris
Southeastern Oklahoma State University

Hector Miranda
Rollins College

Jenna Hellack
University of Central Oklahoma

Steve Shore
Oklahoma City Community College


Possible Audiences:

Biology majors, especially in mammology and evolution courses.  


Brief Overview:

To provide a problem space wherein students can use sequence data using a slowly evolving genes to resolve deep-level divergences within and among mammalian groups.

To illustrate the explanatory powers of (molecular) phylogenetics for biology.  


Project Materials:

Edited sequences of the IRBP (interphotoreceptor binding protein) gene

Access to Biology Workbench  


Resources and References:

Murphy et al. 2001 Nature 294:2348-2351

PowerPoint Intro  


Future Directions:

Provides students to pose many other questions and generate many hypotheses.

Investigate the concept of HOMOLOGY in both molecular and morphological (or behavioral, ecological ) data sets

Test geographic events with character evolution.

Allow students to view biodiversity (and conservation) in the context of evolution.