Phylogenetic Tree Activities


With the increased use of computers in bioinformatics, it is becomming ever easier for researchers to make sense of large and complicated data sets. Genetic information, especially, is becoming much more feasible to study as it becomes possible to compare species' genomes and determine their relatedness on a scale previously impracticle for researchers. These paired activities provide students the opportunity both to work hands-on with the concepts behind how genomes are compared and relatedness determined (using cartoon bacteria) and to use current bioinformatics tools to processes larger data sets (using 16s sequences).

Our Phylogenetic Tree activity can help students appreciate how computers help us compare genomes.


Next Generation Science Standards

Bold standards covered by the activity, italic standards can be covered by expanding the activity.

Science and Engineering Practices

Materials and Links


Demo for both activities


By Hand with cartoon bacteria


By Computer with DNA sequences


Supplemental Documents