This project was prepared as part of a BioQUEST faculty development workshop entitled BioQUEST Summer Workshop 2007 at Beloit College in June 2007. 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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The Molecular Genetics Explorer: a simulation that unifies Genetics, Biochemistry, and Molecular Biology
Authors          Audiences          Overview           Materials          Resources           Future Directions



Brian White
University of Massachusetts


Possible Audiences:

High School
Introductory/Intermediate College  


Brief Overview:

The MGE is a simulation of flower color in a hypothetical plant that can be examined using the three major tools of modern molecular genetics.

  • Genetics: Flowers can be crossed to determine the inheritance of color. They can also be mutated to explore the range of possible color alleles.
  • Biochemistry: The structures of the pigment proteins in the flowers can be examined and modified to explore the relationship between amino acid sequence and color.
  • Molecular Biology: The genes encoding pigment proteins can be examined to explore allelic differences as well as modified to explore the relationship between DNA sequence and color.
A lab manual with sample exercises is included.  


Project Materials:

All materials (downloadable software and lab manuals) are available from this link.  


Future Directions:

Further development with the user community.