Project-Based Inquiry Science


Dec 14, 2012 (4 years and 7 months ago)



Genetics Project


Savannah Martinez

Green B

The food I chose is… Rice

Rice is a vascular plant grown in India, Bangladesh, China, Japan, Vietnam,
Burma/Myanmar, Philippines, Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia, Mississippi,
Central Florida, Louisiana, Western Texas, Arkansas, and Northern

Since rice is considered a vascular plant, that means the rice has two tubes.
These tubes are called the

. The xylem transfers water up
from the roots to the rest of the plant while the phloem transfers the food
and nutrients throughout the plant.

Rice is a staple crop for millions of people around the world. This is because
rice provides us (people) with starch , minerals , vitamins, and some
proteins, all of which are compounds that are essential. Though when
eating rice, you do not eat the whole plant, only the

of the seed
that comes from the plant.


In order to create a rice plant that is able to feed the world, has a high
nutritional value, is resistant to drought and diseases and other stuff of that
sort, you have to

a plant with a certain desired trait, with
another plant that contains a different desired trait. Traits are inherited
from the parent(s). When sexual reproduction occurs half of the traits come
from both the female and male parent. To determine the phenotype (and
genotype) you must look at the

to know what traits the offspring of
the parents are going to have. Alleles are two forms of a gene. These two
forms are



resistant to disease(
) x Resistant (










DD ¼






Resistant ¾

Resistant ¼




The punnet square tells me that 75% of the
offspring will be non
resistant to disease, while
the other 25% will be resistant to disease.

Traits Continued…

The traits I want my rice to have are:

Resistant to Drought (

Resistant to Pest (

High amount of Starch (

Large amount of Seeds (CC)

Resistant to drought because the rice would still live even with little water which is economical
for the farmers.

Resistant to pest because the farmers wouldn’t have to pay for pesticide which is toxic to

High amount of starch because starch is a tasteless, odorless carbohydrates found in foods,
and since a carbohydrate is a complex sugars that provides energy when digested, it would be
something you want in your food.

Large amount of seeds because if you have a larger amount of seeds per plant then you
wouldn’t have to plant as many plants as before.

To assure the rice plant would have these traits, you would use a punnet squares (shown in the
previous slide). The punnet square would show you would have in a plant from cross
pollinating dominant and recessive alleles.

Environmental Interactions

The environment would effect the process of creating a new rice plant because
there is always possibilities of droughts and diseases. Most rice plants, if not
all, require lots of water. Since some farmers rely on rain to water their
crops, a drought would kill the plants since they don’t have enough water to
survive. Also if the plants were to catch disease, they wouldn’t last very long
unless they were disease resistant. Though even if the rice plant was disease
resistant, no promises could be made to tell if the plant would survive or

Predators and other animals would effect the process of creating a new rice
plant, because as the rice plant is growing the predators and other animals
could come and just eat the rice, which is something that you wouldn’t want
to happen since rice provides the farmers with money.


What I plan to do with creating a new and improved rice plant would be
selective breeding
because I'm am choosing the traits not
nature. If nature chose what traits the rice would have, it would be called
natural selection.

My suggestions should not be used to create a monoculture. There should be a
diverse environment

because if there should be a disease, or anything of
that sort, and say one plant is resistant while the other plant is not, the non
resistant plant would die. The plant that is resistant would remain. Animals
would still be able to survive with the plant that’s left. In a monoculture
there is only one type of plant being grown. If a disease were to come and
the plant was not resistant to the disease, all of the plants in the
monoculture would die, leaving the animals that eat that plant to die of

*Of course disease is not the only factor that could effect the plant, disease was just used as an example.*


Since genetic engineering is the changing of the genes of an organism by a
scientist, it would help with trying to create a new rice plant because then
instead of cross pollinating plants and hoping you get the desired traits in
the offspring, you would be sure you are getting the correct traits because
you are actually taking the desired traits from the plants DNA and creating
a new organism. The scientists divide the cells to get to the DNA of another
organism and take the desired trait and place into, in this case, a rice plant,
creating a new organism that’s most likely improved than the original rice


My idea to create a better plant to feed the world by using genetic engineering
instead of selective breeding is a good plan because with genetic
engineering you can just change the genes but taking out a gene from and
organism and put it into the rice, to create a better rice plant. This method
completely assures you get the desired traits. Also genetic engineering is
faster than selective breeding because with selective breeding you have to
keep cross
pollinating to try and get the desired traits, which won’t happen
until after a few generations. Another reason is that you could create even
better rice because there is more possible traits to incorporate into a new
rice plant since you can take any desirable trait from pretty much any plant
of your choosing.


The disadvantages of my idea to use genetic engineering is that, say they took
and trait that was resistant to pests and put it in the rice. Since the rice is
different from the organism you got the resistant to pests trait from, it could
kill, not only a predator of rice but other harmful animals which could mess
up the food chain and just throw everything off balance. Also if a scientist
unknowingly makes a mistake then the new plant wouldn’t be correct, and
then if the new plant if put into nature it could cause negative affects and its

Scientists could try to control or eliminate these dangers by working slowly
and carefully. Also they should test the new organism in an controlled
environment to see its effect on the environment before actually putting it
into nature.

Work Cited

, Janet L., Joseph S.
, Daniel C.
, Brian J.
, and Mary L. Starr.

Based Inquiry Science
. Armonk, New York:

Jones Education Division, 2009.

Print. Genetics.