Data Dive: Boosting Yeast's Appetite for Sugars

Data Dive: Boosting Yeast's Appetite for Sugars

Boosting Yeast's Appetite for Sugars
Can microbiologists engineer new strains of yeast to produce more biofuel from the same amount of plant biomass? In this GLBRC Data Dive, students learn about how scientists Trey Sato and Audrey Gasch are using directed evolution techniques to create mutant yeast strains that can ferment all of the sugars in plant biomass, not just the glucose. Students analyze a data set from one of the scientist’s fermentation experiments to determine how a new mutant yeast strain performs compared to a standard yeast variety. Extend the learning by combing this activity with the Modern Scientist-Engineer in the World of Fermentation research story, Fermentation in a Bag activity, Fermentation Challenge: Making Ethanol from Cellulose activity, and CB2E: Converting Cellulosic Biomass to Ethanol lab.
 
Read this short introduction to GLBRC Data Dives to learn what they are and how to use them in science classes.
 
This activity is based on the "data nugget" curriculum model developed by scientists and educators at the Kellogg Biological Station. To learn more and view similar data nugget activities, visit: http://datanuggets.org/
 
Grade Level High School (Grades 9-12)
Subjects Environmental Science, Biology, Biotechnology, Microbiology
Resource Type Stand-alone activity
Concepts/Skills Biomass, directed evolution, fermentation, data analysis, scientific argumentation, nature of science
Time Required One or two 50-minute class periods.
Prior Knowledge Familiarity with scientific method, hypothesis testing, graphing, graph interpretation, and basic statistics helpful.
Required Supplies None. Download materials in activity package.
Preview
 
Download

Activity Package (.zip, 5.1 MB) Includes teacher guide and keys, presentation files, student worksheets, data spreadsheets and background reading.