Supplies and Equipment Needed for "Reconstructing the Evolution of Cauliflower and Broccoli" Laboratory Activity
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For "Plant Morphology: Vegetative Structures"
Most of the vegetables are from the grocery store; depending on the time of year and your location, you may be able to find these at a farmer's market or you may have to check multiple grocery stores.
Per lab group (based on 2 or 3 students per group):
- 1 knife or scalpel, for cutting through a Brussels sprout
- 1 cutting board (could be shared between lab groups)
- 1 Brussels sprout
Per lab section (based on 20-24 students in 8 groups):
- 1 head of red cabbage
- 1 head of kale (curly and/or colorful leaves are nice, but use whatever is available)
- 1 kohlrabi (with leaves still attached)
- 1 head or bunch of collards; a head is preferable, so students can see how the leaves attach to the stem
- 1 stalk with Brussels sprouts on it; we have had good luck getting these from local farmers and gardeners; they can be dried and re-used for multiple terms (though fresh is nicer); you can substitute a photo of a Brussels sprout plant (LINK) if fresh stems are not available
- 1 live wild cabbage plant (we usually use 4, one per lab bench); see note below on ordering seeds and growing wild cabbage (Brassica oleracea oleracea)
- 1 knife to cut the red cabbage
- 1 cutting board to cut the red cabbage
For "Plant Morphology: Reproductive Structures"
Per lab group (2 or 3 students):
- 1 floret of cauliflower
- 1 floret of broccoli
- 1 jeweler's forceps or other fine forceps for opening broccoli buds and examining flower parts
- 1-2 sharp dissecting probes for opening broccoli buds and examining flower parts
- 1 dissecting microscope & light source
- 1 medium sized rubber stopper (approximately 1/2-1 inch in diameter), slit partway through the narrower end toward the wider end; students will use this as a "chuck" to hold the base of their broccoli or cauliflower and look at the floral/pre-floral structures
Per lab section (20-24 students in 8 groups):
- 1 scanning electron microscope & technician to run a demonstration (this is for the lab as written, but photographs (LINK) can easily be substituted)
- 1 live Arabidopsis plant, flowering, wild type, to show wild type flowers
- 1 live Arabidopsis plant, flowering, with the CAL and AP1 mutations to show the cauliflower mutation
For "Bioinformatics Investigation of the CAL Gene"
Per lab group (2 or 3 students):
- 1 computer with internet access
- 1 codon/amino acid table, or you could link to one online; there is a nice one at Wikipedia's Genetic Code entry.
- 1 calculator (or have students bring one, or use a calculator program on their computer)
Notes on Live Plant Material
Special thanks to Heidi Mullen, Carleton College Greenhouse Coordinator, for this information.
- Seeds for wild cabbage are available from the Centre for Genetic Resources the Netherlands, (CGN). The wild cabbage seed ID# is CGN 1897. We received 300 seeds. We had no trouble with germination. We grew the plants at 21.5 degrees C daytime and 18.5 degrees C nighttime temperatures. The plants we have are still alive after a year and a half; they have not flowered, but we haven't tried to force them at this point.
- Seeds for Arabidopsis plants are available from the Arabidopsis Biological Resource Center