Hiram College (formerly at Holy Cross College)
Molecular evolution of gene families part of Teaching Genomics at Small Colleges:Genomics Instructional Units Minicollection
In this laboratory exercise, students will use computational methods to work with a gene family in order to learn how to identify conserved regions and observe sequence changes that evolve in DNA, mRNA and amino acid sequences in a gene family. Students will investigate how many members of this gene family are found in diverse species by searching available databases such as ECR browser, Homologene and BLAST, and will create a phylogenetic tree. This is a guided exercise that accompanies a wet lab project where students amplify by RT-PCR specific gene family members to investigate in which tissues different family members are expressed. Students will appreciate the functional significance of sequence conservation in diverse species, and advantages of gene duplication events.