Jim Smith at Michigan State University has a nice collection of materials called Case Studies for Evolution Education.
Some monkey species have trichromatic, full color vision whereas others have dichromatic, red-green colorblind vision. Trichromatic monkey species can produce three types of transmembrane opsin proteins in the cone cells of their eyes; dichromatic monkey species only produce two types. This case study examines the genetics, cell biology, ecology and phylogenetics of this system.
The beach mouse, (Peromyscus polionotus) is a small rodent found in southeastern United States. There are several sub-species that have different fur colors ranging from light to very dark. Beach mice with light fur often have a single nucleotide substitution mutation in their melanocortin 1 receptor gene that affects their ability to produce the dark fur pigment eumelanin. This case study examines the genetics, cell biology, ecology and population genetics of this system.
The common field pea (Pisum sativum) is one of the first plants to be domesticated as a crop, dating back to the Neolithic agricultural revolution, 10,000 BCE. They are the same species that Gregor Mendel, the father of modern genetics, used in his experiments when he discovered the laws of genetic inheritance. Wrinkled peas are sweeter than round peas because, as a result of an insertion mutation, they lack a functional starch branching enzyme. This case study examines the genetics, cell biology, Mendelian connections and population genetics of this system.
Soft shell clams (Mya arenaria) are bivalves native to the east coast of North America. They are susceptible to paralytic shellfish poisoning caused by a poison, saxitoxin, that is produced by dinoflagellates during algal blooms. However, some clams have an nucleotide substitution mutation in a voltage gated sodium channel gene that makes them resistant to saxitoxin poisoning. This case study examines the genetics, cell biology, ecology and population genetics of this system.