Insects provide an excellent model for examining concepts in endocrinology in the classroom. They are relatively inexpensive to rear, short-lived, and free from animal welfare regulations. Using the tobacco hornworm (Manduca sexta) as a model, we have developed a simple laboratory experiment to demonstrate the role of hormones in development. In this experiment, students will use a readily available agonist to disrupt insect development, preventing metamorphosis. This exercise fits well into the AP lab curriculum and the NGSS LSB.1 objectives.
Teaching Principles of Endocrinology Using the Tobacco Hornworm
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John M. Rowland, Ian J. Rowland, Walter G. Goodman; Teaching Principles of Endocrinology Using the Tobacco Hornworm. The American Biology Teacher 1 September 2017; 79 (7): 584–589. doi: https://doi.org/10.1525/abt.2017.79.7.584
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