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4.2: Bingo Chip Evolution

  • Page ID
    138519
    • Julie Wieczkowski, Melanie M. Mayberry, Lisa Marie Anselmi, & Susan Maguire

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    Bingo Chip Evolution

    Format: In-person or online


    Bingo chips can be used to simulate a population of simple organisms reproducing and spreading in this evolution activity.

    Author: Cara Ocobock

    Source: Modified from Lee et al. 2017. Making evolution stick: using sticky notes to teach the mechanisms of evolutionary change. Evolution: Education and Outreach which is under a CC BY 4.0 License.

    Time needed: 60 - 90 minutes

    Learning Objectives

    • Calculate allele frequencies to document evolutionary change in a population
    • Identify the evolutionary forces
    • Model and describe the founder effect, gene flow, genetic drift, natural selection, and population bottleneck

    Supplies Needed

    • Bingo chips (or beads). Each set of chips for each group of students should include approximately 200 chips (50 chips of each color).
    • Student worksheet (provide)

    Readings

    Introduction

    This activity utilizes bingo chips to represent a population of organisms reproducing over several generations. Over time, the population of Bingo Chips expands to occupy both the mainland and island coastlines, as both regions experience various evolutionary forces. With each generation, student researchers follow the directions on their worksheet to modify their population as a result of these forces, and then record the new allele frequencies.

    Steps

    • Instructors will provide an overview of the Bingo Chip population, including how an organism can be haploid and reproduce via the budding process. Instructors should demonstrate how to calculate allele frequencies for the population of bingo chips.
    • Students divide into small groups and are given a set of bingo chips and the student worksheet(s). At their table, students should map out the location of the island and mainland, where the bingo chips live. Students then place the first eight Bingo Chips (two bingo chips of each of the four colors) at the mainland location to begin the activity.
    • Students will follow the instructions on the student worksheet, changing the Bingo Chip populations as directed.
    • For each generation, students will record the number of alleles present on the tables in their worksheet. If there is sufficient time, students should be encouraged to convert these into allele frequencies. For example if 2 of 8 of the allele on the mainland are pink, the frequency of the pink allele is 2/8 = 0.25.
    • For each generation students will also discuss answers to the questions on the worksheet.

    Conclusion

    After each group has worked through the six generations of activities, each group should identify and share with the rest of the class:

    • The final allele frequencies for both their mainland and island populations.
    • The force(s) they think had the largest effect towards changing the allele frequencies, and what those changes were. Students should refer back to their tables to support their statements.
    • Which event(s)/evolutionary force(s) led to the loss of any alleles in either the mainland or island population. If genetic bottleneck or the founder effect are noted, instructors can help students identify that both are types of genetic drift.

    Students should compare the populations of the various small groups to identify the differences between the groups, despite that all groups experienced similar types of events/evolutionary forces. This can be tied to the random nature of many evolutionary forces.

    Adapting for Online Learning

    If this is an in-person lab, rank how adaptable to online learning it would be(mark in bold):

    1 Not adaptable 2 Possible to adapt 3 Easy to adapt

    This activity can be completed online. While students could do it individually on their own, it would be best completed in small groups synchronously (e.g. via Zoom) utilizing breakout rooms. The provided Bingo Chips Evolution Slides can be copied and modified for online classes. Individuals or small groups of students can be given edit access to complete the activities in the slides themselves. Each individual or small group of students should be provided a copy of the first couple of slides. They can then copy and paste the slide of the generation they are working on and proceed to the next generation (the next step of the activity). Each generation should have its own slide. This version of the lab is nice, as a record of each generation is preserved on a slide and can be reviewed at the end of the activity. Also, instead of recording allele frequencies in the worksheet, students can record allele frequencies on the slides.

    Tips and Suggestions

    Other materials can be used for this activity such as beads or post-it notes, as long as there are sets with at least 4 different colors. At its peak there are a lot of “bingo chip” organisms, so it will be important that each student set has at least 50 objects of each color.

    References

    Alveshere, Andrea. 2019. “Forces of Evolution.” In Explorations: An Open Invitation to Biological Anthropology, edited by Beth Shook, Katie Nelson, Kelsie Aguilera, and Lara Braff. Arlington,

    VA: American Anthropological Association. http://explorations.americananthro.org/

    Ocobock, Cara. Bingo Chip or Sticky Note Evolution. University of Notre Dame.

    Teresa W. Lee, Kathleen E. Grogan and Justine S. Liepkalns. 2017. Making evolution stick: using sticky notes to teach the mechanisms of evolutionary change. Evolution: Education and Outreach 10:11. Open Access; CC BY 4.0 License

    Lee et al. 2017. Making evolution stick: using sticky notes to teach the mechanisms of evolutionary change. Evolution: Education and Outreach which is under a CC BY 4.0 License. This Explorations lab is modified from this source.

    Image Attributions

    Bingo Chips #3 by Scott Ableman at flickr is used under a CC BY-NC-ND 2.0 License.

    Bingo Chip Evolution Worksheet

    Introduction

    Your team has discovered a new population of Bingo Chips that lives along the coast. This organism is haploid, meaning it only has one copy of each chromosome. It has one visible phenotype (color), which is determined by the Color Gene. Like budding yeast, Bingo Chips reproduce clonally via a budding process, resulting in two individuals who have the same genome and phenotype.

    They are exceptionally long-lived, meaning that each Chip can reproduce for many generations. Everything these Chips need to survive is on the coast. They can see an island off in the distance, but cannot reach it.

    Generation 1: Establish Your Own Population of Bingo Chips

    There will be two Bingo Chips of each color. Bingo Chips are haploid, so each chip represents only one allele. The initial phenotype ratios are recorded for you already in the table below but you will need to record them yourself in future generations.

    Generation 1 Green Blue Pink Yellow
    Mainland 2 / 8 = 0.25 2 / 8 = 0.25 2 / 8 = 0.25 2 / 8 = 0.25
    Island 0 0 0 0

    Discuss:

    • Bingo Chips are haploid, so how many alleles does a single Bingo Chip have for the Color Gene?
    • How many total alleles for the color gene exist in the population during generation 1?

    Generation 2: The Founder Effect

    A rare low tide has exposed a temporary sandbar. Some curious Bingo Chips take this opportunity to explore the nearby island, but they’re stuck there once the sandbar is covered.

    Task:

    • Move a few Bingo Chips of any color to the island (no more than three).
    • After this tragic separation, each Chip will clonally reproduce one time. For each Bingo Chip on the island and the mainland, add another Bingo Chip of the same color to that same population.
    • Record your new allele frequencies in the table below, considering the two populations separately.
    Generation 2 Green Blue Pink Yellow
    Mainland
         
    Island
         

    Discuss:

    • After reproduction, how do the mainland phenotypic frequencies of Generation 2 compare to those on the mainland in Generation 1?
    • After reproduction, how do the island phenotypic frequencies of Generation 2 compare to those on the mainland in Generation 1?

    Generation 3: Gene Flow

    Every so often the currents are favorable and allow some Bingo Chips to move from the island to the mainland or vice versa.

    Task:

    • One member of your group will choose up to five intrepid Bingo Chips to move from one population to the other. Some can move from the island to the mainland, while others can move from the mainland to the island.
    • After the migration, each Bingo Chip reproduces clonally one time. For each Bingo Chip on the island and the mainland, add another Bingo Chip of the same color to that same population.
    • Record your new allele frequencies in the table below.
    Generation 3 Green Blue Pink Yellow
    Mainland
         
    Island
         

    Discuss:

    • Does evolution occur if a Bingo Chip migrates from the island to the mainland, but then dies without reproducing? Why or why not?

    Generation 4: Genetic Drift

    You and your team have gone to get more supplies to continue your work at the field site, so several generations go by before you can make an observation of these populations.

    Task:

    • Choose another group member to act out the effects of genetic drift. They will close their eyes and point to the screen, open their eyes and remove the closest two Chips from the mainland population, and do it again to remove two Chips from the island population. These unfortunate Bingo Chips have perished before they are able to reproduce.
    • All the remaining Bingo Chips will reproduce clonally one time.
    • The same group member will close their eyes and now remove eight Chips from the mainland population and eight from the island population.
    • All the remaining Bingo Chips will reproduce clonally once again.
    • Record your new allele frequencies in the table below.
    Generation 4 Green Blue Pink Yellow
    Mainland
         
    Island
         

    Discuss:

    • Which color, if any, has become more prevalent in the mainland population? Which color has become more rare?
    • Which color, if any, has become more prevalent in the island population? Which has become more rare?
    • Which population looks most different from your original population at Generation 1?

    Generation 5: Natural Selection

    A dreaded flying predator has entered the area and is eating many of the bingo chips!

    Task:

    • Choose a group member to act as a predator of the Bingo Chips. This group member will choose their two favorite colors of Chips to eat. This group member will “fly” between the island and the mainland, removing ten Bingo Chips of these two colors in total (decide how many to eat from each population).
    • All the remaining (and relieved) Bingo Chips will reproduce clonally one time.
    • Record your new allele frequencies in the table below.
    Generation 5 Green Blue Pink Yellow
    Mainland
         
    Island
         

    Discuss:

    • What characteristics of Bingo Chips or their environment might help one color of Bingo Chip survive better than another?
    • Does evolution happen if a Bingo Chip is better at surviving, but would not reproduce?

    Generation 6: Population Bottleneck

    An event of mass destruction (hurricane? earthquake? zombies?) causes Bingo Chips to die in alarming numbers! Which ones die depends on the event but not on their phenotype (color). Will it be proximity to the ocean? Disease susceptibility? Completely at random?

    • Decide as a group what the event of mass destruction will be.
    • Choose a group member to become a force of nature. This person will remove all but ten Bingo Chips (split the survivors between the two populations).
    • These (extremely shaken) Bingo Chips are grateful to have survived and begin to rebuild their lives. They reproduce clonally one more time.
    • Record your final allele frequencies in the table below.
    Generation 6 Green Blue Pink Yellow
    Mainland
         
    Island
         

    Discuss:

    • Have any colors disappeared in either population? Will there be any Bingo Chips of this color in future generations?
    • Now that you have completed your field season, describe what happened to each color of Bingo Chip over the generations you’ve observed. You will report this back to the entire class.

    This page titled 4.2: Bingo Chip Evolution is shared under a CC BY-NC 4.0 license and was authored, remixed, and/or curated by Julie Wieczkowski, Melanie M. Mayberry, Lisa Marie Anselmi, Susan Maguire, & Susan Maguire via source content that was edited to the style and standards of the LibreTexts platform; a detailed edit history is available upon request.