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Thinking Scientifically
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1. Why is pollination by animals less efficient in the early morning?

2. Plant reproductive biotechnologies can yield many identical plants, or encourage variation. Cite two examples of when each would be desirable.

3. Outline the steps of the scientific method that Elliot Meyerowitz used to test his hypothesis that three genes control flower development.

4. Chefs consider a plant food a fruit or a vegetable according to how it is prepared and eaten and how sweet is tastes. How does this differ from the biological definition of a fruit?

5. A few types of plants, such as dandelions, can produce seeds asexually, in a process called apomixis. How might a plant produce a seed without fertilization, and what would be an advantage of such a system?


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Additional Questions

1. When researchers cloned goats in 1999, mice in 1998, and sheep in 1997, headlines blared the breakthroughs. Yet when researchers cloned carrots decades ago, hardly anyone noticed. Why isn’t plant cloning as attention-getting as animal cloning?

2. The swamp pink (Helonias bullata) once flourished in wooded wetlands from New York to Georgia. Today it is endangered because of a combination of factors – habitat destruction, only 6 percent of the plants blossom each year, and high levels of self-pollination. Why is self-pollination dooming populations of this flowering plant?

3. How might changes in flower shapes and beak shapes of pollinators become an “evolutionary arms race?”

4. What would a flower look like that had its class “A” and “B” genes inactivated? That is, only genes of class “C” function.

5. Why is it more adaptive for a plant species if an insect species that pollinates it does not also pollinate other types of plants?

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