Biology KS3 / KS4: The development of artificial selection in farming

Stefan Gates reveals the ways in which plant breeders can speed up natural selection, selecting for the characteristics that make our food crops better to eat, or easier to farm and manage.

He reveals that actually this process has been an integral part of farming since agriculture began thousands of years ago.

This is from the series: Science of the Harvest

Teacher Notes

Could be used as an introduction to selective breeding.

Students could look at examples of plants like the commonly dwarf wheat which was selectively bred to withstand winds which flattened taller crops.

This could then be extended to other plants including roses and orchids.

Why have these plants been selectively bred? Students will find it interesting that humans began selectively breeding well before we understood simple genetic inheritance.

Finally selective breeding could be compared with genetic modification.

How are these two processes similar and how are they different?

Curriculum Notes

This clip will be relevant for teaching Biology/Science at KS3 and KS4/GCSE in England and Wales.

Also at Third , Fourth Level, National 4, National 5 and Higher in Scotland.

This topic appears in OCR, Edexcel, AQA, WJEC, CCEA and SQA.

More from the series: Science of the Harvest

Biology KS3 / KS4: The science of ripening and seed dispersal
video
Biology KS3 / KS4: The importance of animal pollinators and their relation to our fruit harvest
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Biology KS3 / KS4: The development of artificial selection in farming
video
Biology KS3 / KS4: How the combine harvester has changed the way we farm
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Biology KS3 / KS4: How photosynthesis is vital to the success of farming
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Biology KS3 / KS4: Germination and the conversion and storage of glucose
video