University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Lesson 4: What is the genetic basis for the evolution of eusocial behaviors?

This lesson is part of the unit:

Lesson Description:

This lesson addresses the driving question about the origin of eusocial honey bee behavior from a genetic perspective. Students read adapted primary literature in order to learn what categories of gene function have been important in the evolution of eusocial behavior in bees. Then students select and compare a gene across different species and generate a phylogenetic tree using Molecular Evolutionary Genetics Analysis software. Students relate their finding back to the primary literature and make a scientific claim about the gene they selected to study. Students learn that genetics helps explain eusocial honey bee behaviors on an evolutionary scale. Students hear from scientists one more time as they discuss colony collapse disorder and how students can get more involved with honey bees. Lastly, students respond to the unit’s driving question while synthesizing what they have learned throughout the unit.

Materials last updated:

Dec 30, 2015

Lesson materials:

Please create an account or log in to access our free materials.