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AP Biology

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AP Biology Syllabus


The 12 Labs of AP Biolog

Lab 1. Diffusion and Osmosis. The experiments in this first lab include diffusion across a semipermeable membrane, using dialysis tubing to determine the rate of diffusion of various concentrations of sucrose solutions, determining the water potential of potato cells, and observing plasmolysis in onion cells.

Lab 2. Enzyme Catalysis. This lab uses catalase as the enzyme in the decomposition reaction of hydrogen peroxide. Students determine the amount of hydrogen peroxide that remains after different periods of time by titration with potassium permanganate and then calculate the rate of decomposition.

Lab 3. Mitosis and Meiosis. Students work on three exercises: calculating the amount of time cells spend in each phase of mitosis by examining an onion root tip, calculating the distance between a gene locus and the centromere in Sordaria fimicola, and using beads to simulate the process of meiosis.

Lab 4. Plant Pigments and Photosynthesis. In the first exercise students use paper chromatography to determine the Rf value of various plant pigments found in leaves. In the second exercise they use a chloroplast suspension and an indicator DPIP to investigate what factors affect the rate of the light-dependent reaction (Hill reaction).

Lab 5. Cell Respiration. This experiment determines the rate of cellular respiration of dormant and germinating peas at two different temperatures. Lab 6. Molecular Biology. Students conduct two experiments. The first is a transformation experiment in which students insert an engineered plasmid into E. coli. In the second lab students digest lambda bacteriophage DNA with selected restricted enzymes and determine the length of DNA fragments with electrophoresis equipment.

Lab 7. Genetics of Organisms. This extended experiment involves using Drosophila melanogaster in genetic crosses. Students are expected to use the chi-square test when analyzing the results. This lab may take one to two days a week during a four- to six-week period to complete.

Lab 8. Population Genetics and Evolution. This simulation involves applying the Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium equation to collected data and modeling the effect of different factors on allele frequencies.

Lab 9. Transpiration. Students conduct two experiments. In the first they use a potometer to investigate the transpiration of an herbaceous plant under various conditions. In the second they assemble, stain, and examine wet mounts of thin stem sections.

Lab 10. Physiology of the Circulatory System. This lab consists of two experiments. The first measures the heart rate and blood pressure in a volunteer to determine that person’s fitness index. The second uses Daphnia to investigate the effect of temperature on heart rate.

Lab 11. Animal Behavior. In this inquiry lab, students study the behavior of pill bugs as they respond to different environmental factors, and they observe the mating behaviors of Drosophila melanogaster.

Lab 12. Dissolved Oxygen and Aquatic Primary Productivity. Students determine the gross and net primary productivity of a given aquatic ecosystem as a function of differences in dissolved oxygen over time.