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(2 Pts) Darwins primary contribution to biological theory was the idea that
A) an important mechanism of biological evolution is natural selection
B) new alleles arise through mutation
C) evolution is the change in gene frequencies over time
D) genes are the units of inheritance
E) characteristics acquired during an individuals lifetime can be passed to its

2. (2 Pts) Which statement best represents the meaning of the term evolution:
A) Changes in species toward greater complexity over time
B) Changes in gene frequencies in a population over time
C) The strongest individuals survive and produce the most offspring
D) Changes in an individual over time in response to natural selection

3. (3 Pts) Over the past several decades, natural selection has caused populations
of Staphylococcus aureus (an infectious wound bacterium) to evolve resistance to most
antibiotics. If antibiotic use were stopped, what would you predict would happen to
these S. aureus populations?
A) They will go extinct without the antibiotic.
B) The frequency of resistant forms will increase in these populations.
C) The populations will begin colonizing new environments.
D) The frequency of nonresistant forms will increase in these populations.

4. (3 Pts) Starting from a single wild canine species, humans have developed hundreds
of breeds of domestic dogs. Which of the following statements is supported by this
A) Natural selection had not occurred very frequently in the wild dog populations.
B) There was enough heritable variation in the wild canine species to
create a variety of features.
C) Heritable variation is low; otherwise the there would be more wild dog species.
D) Most of the variation in domestic dog species is a result of variation in nutrition
and training.

5. (3 Pts) Woese used SSU RNA to build the 3-Domain Tree of Life. When choosing to
study that molecule, which of the following was NOT one of the characteristics of RNA
that made it a good molecule to use for such a study:
A) It is a necessary part of the cellular machinery for reproduction and other
B) It is found in every species.
C) It mutates more frequently than expected by chance.
D) It is passed on through evolutionary history with only minor modifications.
6. (3 Pts) On the tree of life, the branch leading to animals is closer to fungi than it is to
the branch leading to land plants. Which of the following statements is incorrect?
A) Animals and land plants are more closely related to each other than
either is to fungi.
B) Animals and plants have a common ancestor.
C) Fungi and animals do have a common ancestor.
D) Animals and fungi are more closely related to each other than animals are to
land plants.

7. (2 Pts) The HOX genes in fruit flies, annelid worms, clams, and humans show a high
degree of sequence similarity. This is an example of:

A) genetic homology
B) developmental homology

C) structural homology
D) analogy/convergent evolution

8. (3 Pts) Claytonia virginica is a woodland spring herb with flowers that vary from white
to pale pink to bright pink. Slugs prefer to eat pink-flowering over white-flowering plants
(due to chemical differences between the two), and plants experiencing severe
herbivory were more likely to die. The bees that pollinate this plant prefer also prefer
pink to white flowers, so that Claytonia with pink flowers have greater relative fruit set
(reproductive success) than Claytonia with white flowers. A researcher observes that the
percentage of different flower colors remains stable in the study population from year to
year. If the researcher removes all slugs from the study population, what would you
expect to happen to the distribution of flower colors in the population over time?
A) The distribution of flower colors should not change.
B) The percentage of white flowers should increase over time.
C) The percentage of pink flowers should increase over time.
D) The distribution of flower colors should randomly fluctuate over time.

9. (3 Pts) The ability to taste phenylthiocarbamide (PTC) is a trait controlled by 2 alleles

(PTC taster and PTC non-taster). Suppose 36% of a remote mountain village cannot
taste PTC and must, therefore, be homozygous recessive (aa) for the PTC non-taster
allele. If this population conforms to Hardy-Weinberg expectations for this gene, what
percentage of the population must be homozygous (AA) for the PTC taster allele?

A) 48%
B) 40%
C) 16%
D) 32%
E) 60%

10. (3 Pts) The Dunkers are a religious group that moved from Germany to
Pennsylvania in the mid-1700s. They do not marry with members outside their own
immediate community. Today, the Dunkers are genetically unique and differ in gene
frequencies, at many loci, from all other populations including their original homeland.
Which of the following likely explains the genetic uniqueness of this population?
A) sexual selection and inbreeding depression
B) heterozygote advantage and stabilizing selection
C) population bottleneck and Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium
D) mutation and natural selection
E) founder effect and genetic drift

11. (2 Pts) Which of these is NOT true about the Central Dogma of Molecular Biology?
A) DNA codes for RNA, which codes for Protein
B) It is a two-way flow of information
C) It is a one-way flow of information
D) DNA sequences define the genotype, which then produce the proteins that
create the phenotype

12. (2 Pts) Which of the following does NOT tend to promote speciation?
A) founder effect
B) reproductive isolation
C) natural selection
D) gene flow

13. (2 Pts) Which of the following statements explains why animals are less likely than
plants to speciate by polyploidy?
A) Animals have behavioral rituals that result in mate recognition.
B) Animal movement patterns insure gene flow.
C) Animals rarely self-fertilize, so diploid gametes are much less likely to
D) Animals chromosomes are less likely to replicate incorrectly than plants.

14. (3 Pts) The two key factors responsible for speciation among populations are:
A) mutation and heterozygote disadvantage
B) reproductive isolation and genetic divergence
C) postzygotic isolation and morphological change
D) mutation and genetic drift

15. (3 Pts) Which of the following would best be described as a case of speciation in
A) A population of lizards is subdivided by a natural barrier and subsequently
diverges to form two species that cannot interbreed.
B) Speciation cannot take place in sympatry - only in allopatry, where geography
poses a barrier to gene flow.
C) A new, isolated population of fruit flies is founded by a small group of
colonists, which then diverge from the ancestral source population.
D) An individual hermaphroditic plant undergoes meiotic failure, producing
diploid pollen and ovules; these self-fertilize, germinate, and grow into
several fully fertile tetraploid plants.

16. (2 Pts) Applying the principle of parsimony to the trait "ability to fly," which of the two
phylogenetic trees above is better?
A) Tree 1 B) Tree 2

17. (3 Pts) These graphs show percentage change in three different molecular
sequences plotted against time. Which of these would make a good candidate for a
molecular clock?
A) graph A, because the curve levels off over time
B) graph B, because DNA is more important to organisms and therefore will give
a more accurate picture of divergence
C) graph C, because the change in sequence is the most rapid (1 point credit)
D) graph B or C, because they are straight lines
E) graph A or C, because amino acid changes in are more likely to be neutral
DNA changes in DNA

18. (2 Pts) Which of these does NOT describe one way in which the fossil record is
A) Certain habitats are more likely to produce fossils than others
B) Soft-bodied organisms are more likely to be preserved
C) Recent fossils are more likely to be found than older ones
D) Organisms that lived above ground are more likely to be found than
E) Abundant species are more likely to appear in the fossil record than rare

19. (10 pts) It is 3AM. You are awakened by a phone call. The mysterious voice asks:
What are the necessary conditions for natural selection to occur within a population? I
dont want the 3-word answer, I want you to state the conditions more completely.

1. Variation in a trait in the population

2. The trait is heritable, at least to some extent
3. Differential Reproductive success based on that trait

20. (8 pts) What does it mean to say mutation proposes, selection disposes and what
roles do the genotype and phenotype play in the process?

Mutation is the source of all variation. It is the only source of new alleles. It is a
random event. It can produce advantageous, neutral, and disadvantageous
changes. In essence, it provides options. Natural selection is not random. It is a
filtering process that eliminates disadvantageous changes in genes from the
gene pool (and increases the frequency of advantageous geneotypes).

21. (5 Pts) What does it mean when we say fitness is relative?

Fitness is defined in terms of reproductive success relative to others in the
population. It is calculated as reproductive success in proportion to the most
successful form in the population.

22. (6 pts) What is the difference between allopatric and parapatric speciation? Why is
the latter rare?

Both are a result of reproductive isolation. In allopatric speciation, populations

are separated by geographical barriers and reproductive isolation is easy to
maintain due to the physical separation of the populations. The geographic
barriers prevent gene flow and the forces of evolution act independently on each
population, leading to speciation. In parapatric speciation, there is no physical
barrier separating two populations which occur side-by-side (thus para).
Without a physical barrier to gene flow it is difficult to prevent gene flow and
maintain reproductive isolation making parapatric speciation rare. It usually
occurs because the two adjacent habitats have such different selective pressures
that intermediate forms (the product of inter-breeding between the two
populations) are selected against (at a severe disadvantage).

23. (5 Pts) What is the Hardy-Weinberg Equation and what are the assumptions of the
HW Rule?

The Hardy-Weinberg equation is p2, + 2pq + q2 = 1. The HW equation is a null

model, in that it predicts GENOTYPE frequencies in a population if no forces of
evolution are working on the population and deals with a diploid population, at a
single locus with only 2 alleles and 3 genotypes.

For a population to be in Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium, the assumptions are that

the population must be very large to counteract the effects of genetic drift and
mutation and very large randomly breeding population with random mating (no
sexual selection) will ensure sufficient gene flow among a large number of
individuals. Essentially, the assumptions are that there is no selection, no
mutation, no drift, and gene flow within the population.

24. (4 Pts) Which of the following isolating mechanisms are prezygotic and which are
postzygotic? (Circle either PRE or POST)

+ Land iguana eggs can't be fertilized by marine iguana sperm.

+ Mules-horse-donkey hybrids-are sterile.

In a forest, one beetle species lives on oaks and another beetle species lives on

+ In closely related bird species, males sing different courtship songs.


25. (8 pts) What is stabilizing selection and how does it differ from disruptive selection
and directional selection? You should include in your answer some explanation of how
the mean value for a trait changes in a population under each type of selective

1. Stabilizing selection selects for the existing mean value of the trait and
against extreme values of the trait. Thus, the mean value does not change over
2. Disruptive selection selects for both extremes simultaneously and against
the mean. Thus, the mean value does not change over time, though the number of
individuals with the mean value decreases. The distribution loses its normal
distribution (bell shaped curve). Eventually, two means may emerge that lead to
divergence and, perhaps, speciation.
3. Directional selection selects for one extreme only. Thus, the mean value of
the trait is pushed toward that extreme (either increasing the mean, or decreasing
the mean).

26. (6 pts) What is the difference between homologous traits and analogous traits and
use the following structures as examples: a birds wing, a dogs leg, and a flys wing.

Homologous traits are similar traits shared by two species for which an ancestral
form was present in a common ancestor. Since the species diverged, the differing
selective pressures on the two species generally cause the traits to change in
different ways. A birds wing and a dogs leg are homologous traits in that the
bone structure for both was present in a common ancestor. The bone structures
now are used in somewhat different ways. This is divergent evolution. Both the
dogs leg and the birds wing were derived traits from a common ancestor.

Analagous traits are similar traits shared by two species, but no ancestral form
was present in a common ancestor. Similar selective pressures resulted in
convergent evolution to produce similar morphologies. The birds wing and the
flys wing are analogous trait. There is not a common ancestor of both the bird
and the fly that had a wing, but both species gained a selective advantage
through flying, which explains why both have wings.

NOTE: it is wrong to say Analagous traits are similar traits in species without a
common ancestor. All species have a common ancestor. The difference here is
whether or not the trait in question was present in a common ancestor.

27. (5 pts) Why can sexual selection be considered a subset of natural

selection, even though sexual selection often produces exaggerated traits that
lower surivorship of individuals with those exaggerated traits?

Sexual selection is selection on traits that increase success in competing for

mating opportunities (i.e., mates). Sexual selection is a special case of natural
selection, in that the competition between individuals is for mating opportunities,
not survival. Thus, traits arise through sexual selection that may be detrimental to
survival, but endow the possessor with an advantage in gaining reproductive
success i.e., differential reproductive success based on that trait. It has varation
in traits, heritability of those traits, and differential reproductive success based
on those traits the definition of natural selection.

EXTRA CREDIT (2 pts) Give a 3-word definition of Natural Selection

Variable, heritable, fitness