Supporting Effective Teaching and Learning
Hickok, Les .
Using the Original and Newly Improved Versions of C-Fern® in Inquiry-based Teaching.
C-FERN®, a derived strain of the tropical fern Ceratopteris, is a simple and rapidly developing organism that is adaptable to teaching a wide range of biological principles. All stages of sexual reproduction following meiosis take place within a two-week period. During this time, single-celled spores give rise to multicellular male and hermaphrodite gametophytes that produce large numbers of actively swimming sperm. Visualizations of sperm (including chemotaxis), fertilization, and embryo development can be made at 20X or higher. This allows for basic developmental and genetic principles to be introduced to students in a powerful and visual manner. The presence of distinct gametophyte sexual types encourages active student investigations into the basic controls of sexual differentiation. Low expense and easy maintenance, along with rapid development, permit C-Fern to be used successfully under constraints commonly encountered in the classroom/laboratory. For both teaching and student research purposes, focusing on early stages of gametophyte development allows many experiments to be completed in a very short time. A newly derived strain of C-Fern® that develops from spore-to-spore in under 65 days will be introduced at this workshop. Successful sporophyte culture of this strain can be readily accomplished in 16 oz. plastic bottles, allowing students to become fully engaged with the entire life cycle over an 8-10 week period. Participants will be provided with and will work with cultures of all stages of the life cycle.
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1 - University of Tennessee, Biochemistry, Cell and Molecular Biology, M407 Walters Life Sciences, Knoxville, TN, 37996, USA
Presentation Type: Workshop
Date: Sunday, July 30th, 2006
Time: 10:00 AM