Experiment Outline - M1

An outline of Dr. Specht’s experiment is given below. (It is difficult to keep track of the details of this experiment so pull out some paper and make an outline of what was observed and done each generation)

1) He first obtained seeds from a line of soybeans that are true breeding. This means that when the soybean uses its normal self-pollination mode of sexual reproduction all of the resulting progeny will be identical to the parent plant.

2) He carefully treated the seed with ethyl methane sulfate (EMS). This chemical is a mutagen and will cause changes in the genetic makeup of the cells in the seed.

3) He planted the mutagenized seed. The seed is called the M1 seed for the first generation following the mutagenesis treatment. The plants generated are self-pollinated and make M2 seed. Seed is harvested from the plants with a combine and combined into one big bag.

Soybeans are treated with EMS which causes mutations. (Image by P. Hain)