By Dr. Jennifer Doherty and Dr. Lori Spindler, Department of Biology, University of Pennsylvania, CC-BY-NC 4.0.
Each student group should identify the part of the plant for around 5 fruits/vegetables. This small number will allow ample time for students to closely observe each specimen and debate within their group what type of plant part it is and what evidence they used to make their decision.
- 5.1: Plants Anatomy Protocol
- Humans began domesticating plants over 12,000 years ago. During domestication, plants (and animals) undergo evolution by selection as farmers choose which individuals in the population will reproduce. When this human preference is the environment that exerts a selective force on a population, we call this selection "artificial selection". By only allowing plants with traits we enjoy—like larger and sweeter fruits—to reproduce, humans, like nature, have caused many changes in plant form.
- 5.2: Plant Anatomy Teacher's Preparation Notes
- Each part of a plant has characteristic features that students can use for identification. Many plant parts have been modified by natural selection or artificial selection and no longer serve their original purpose but still resemble the original parts in most ways and can be identified with careful observation.