Using model organisms in an undergraduate laboratory to link genotype, phenotype, and the environment

Nicole L. Jacobs-McDaniels, Eleanor M Maine, R. Craig Albertson, Jason Wiles

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

3 Scopus citations


We developed laboratory exercises using zebrafish (Danio rerio) and nematodes (Caenorhabditis elegans) for a sophomore-level Integrative Biology Laboratory course. Students examined live wildtype zebrafish at different stages of development and noted shifts occurring in response to fgf8a deficiency. Students were introduced to development in other fish species to demonstrate how variation in developmental systems affects phenotype. Finally, students cultured glp-1(bn18ts) C. elegans mutants under different conditions to illustrate how the environment and genetics act concurrently to modulate development. Undergraduate students responded positively to both the fish and C. elegans laboratory modules. These novel laboratory exercises are intended to promote an integrative view of biology and to help prepare undergraduate students for independent research with faculty.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)52-59
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Biological Education
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2013



  • C. elegans
  • Education
  • Model organisms
  • Undergraduate
  • Zebrafish

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • Education

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