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ERIC Number: EJ863737
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Apr
Pages: 10
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 6
ISSN: ISSN-0002-7685
A Model Plant for a Biology Curriculum: Spider Flower ("Cleome Hasslerana L.")
Marquard, Robert D.; Steinback, Rebecca
American Biology Teacher, v71 n4 p235-244 Apr 2009
Major advances in fundamental science are developed using model systems. Classic examples of model systems include Mendel's work with the common garden pea ("Pisium sativa"), classic inheritance work by Morgan with the fruit fly ("Drosophila"), developmental studies with the nematode ("C. elegans"), and transposable elements in maize ("Zea maize"). While these systems are not tractable for study in secondary education, the concept of a model species for study remains appealing. A model species for study in a biology curriculum provides a foundation and a constant for study and an appreciation of wholeness of an organism. To this end, there is an annual landscape plant that is easy to culture and can serve as a model species: Spider Flower or Cleome ("Cleome hasslerana L."). Four teaching modules have been developed, with discussion questions and additional experiments where appropriate. This article presents the four major teaching modules that center on: (1) reproductive biology; (2) inheritance of flower color; (3) biochemistry; and (4) seed germination/experimental design. The authors hope that Cleome will provide a teaching platform for instructors of biology and a starting point for industrious students considering independent study. (Contains 15 figures and 2 tables.)
National Association of Biology Teachers. 12030 Sunrise Valley Drive # 110, Reston, VA 20191. Tel: 800-406-0775; Tel: 703-264-9696; Fax: 703-264-7778; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: High Schools; Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A