From DNA to Organism: A Study in DNA Function for the High School Biology Classroom

Module 6: Gene's effects on the program

Lab letter

Dear Biology Students,

           Thank you so much for your help with my research. You have been able to solve a lot of the problems that I just don’t have time to work on. I have one last question for you to help me solve. I was wondering if the mutation of the AKT-1 gene has the same effect in plants as it does in yeast. We know that the mutation causes the yeast cells to only do well in environments with high potassium. Plants with the wild-type gene only need small amounts of potassium to survive.  

           These darned plants with this AKT-1 mutation are a problem for me at the lab. I just cannot get them to grow as well as the others. I tried more water, less water, more sun, less sun, but nothing seems to be working. My wild type plants have been growing great but the mutants will not grow. I was hoping that, with your experience with plants and the AKT-1 gene mutation, you could test to see if the gene has the same function in the plants as it does in the yeast.  

           I sent along some plant growing materials as well as a number of seeds for AKT-1 plants and wild type plants so that you can conduct your experiments. Please report back to me in a few weeks with your findings.


Dr. Berkowitz