Investigation: How Is Phylogeny Determined by Comparing Proteins?

Timmy Ma
Period 6
Answer the following questions as you go through this investigation.

1. Explain the type of mutations that most likely account for gradual changes in the amino acid
sequences of similar proteins in different organisms.
Point mutations most likely account for gradual changes in the amino acid sequences of similar
proteins in different organisms because other mutations such as frame shift mutations cause more
significant differences such as additional or reduced amino acids.

2. Why can amino acid sequences help one deduce evolutionary relationships among organisms?
Differences in protein amino acid sequences reflect differences in DNA base sequences. This
activity allows you to compare amino acid sequences of proteins from different species and use
them to deduce evolutionary relationships.

3. Complete the chart below:

Draw the phylogenic tree that best fits the data in the chart above. but only 3 differences between A and C. 11 differences between A and B. Species A and C appear to be more closely related to each other than either is to B. There are 10 differences in amino acid sequence between species B and C. . The data suggest that species B is a distant relative of A and C. Explain the reasoning. 4. and that species A and C diverged from each other more recently.

Explain the reasoning. Draw the phylogenic tree that best fits the data. .5. Complete the chart below: 6.

but it has been a long time since the insects diverged from the vertebrates. this type of analysis can be used to determine the origin of bacteria that produce food poisoning. The fruit fly and moth share a common evolutionary path. This phylogenetic tree best corresponds to the amino acid sequence data. 7. and the tree shows their common heritage. and rabbit are all mammals. Clearly. Similarities in certain proteins may indicate organisms from a specific region of the world or those belonging to a particular lineage. donkey. What will you be using protein comparisons for in this activity? Protein comparisons are useful for studying differences and similarities within the same species. The birds and the mammals are all vertebrates. its closest relative is the donkey. In this instance. The two birds are fairly closely related to each other. Scientists can use protein comparisons to identify organisms originating from a particular ancestor. Species A is the horse. . The horse.

Complete the data table below by following the online directions. 9. What conclusions can you make about the origins of the bacterial contamination for the three restaurants? Restaurants 1 and 2’s hamburgers were probably contaminated in the meat plant by bacteria. Restaurant 3’s hamburgers were probably contaminated from somewhere else. .8.

11. Mutations will continue to occur as the two separate populations of bacteria undergo asexual reproduction. What other types of testing can be done to confirm with little doubt the origin of the food contamination? Other types of testing include investigating other proteins to see if their sequence differences and similarities match up with that of tryptophan synthetase A. Why does the tryptophan synthetase A amino acid sequence differ between bacteria on hamburgers 1 and 2 if the bacteria are from the same origin? Because different mutations will predominate in both the individual bacterial populations.10. Another way is to do a DNA analysis to back up the protein matching information. .