Unit: Organismal Physiology & Behavior (all “Kingdoms”)

(reorganized from the College Board AP Biology Curriculum Framework 2012 by David Knuffke)


Lesson 1: Feedback Loops in Physiology


Enduring understanding 2.C: Organisms use feedback mechanisms to regulate growth and reproduction, and to maintain dynamic homeostasis.


Essential knowledge 2.C.1: Organisms use feedback mechanisms to maintain their internal environments and respond to external environmental changes.

a. Negative feedback mechanisms maintain dynamic homeostasis for a particular condition (variable) by regulating physiological processes, returning the changing condition back to its target set point.

To foster student understanding of this concept, instructors can choose an illustrative example such as:

b. Positive feedback mechanisms amplify responses and processes in biological organisms. The variable initiating the response is moved farther away from the initial set-point. Amplification occurs when the stimulus is further activated which, in turn, initiates an additional response that produces system change.

Students should be able to demonstrate understanding of the above concept by using an illustrative example such as:

c. Alteration in the mechanisms of feedback often results in deleterious consequences.

To foster student understanding of this concept, instructors can choose an illustrative example such as:


Learning Objectives:

LO 2.15 The student can justify a claim made about the effect(s) on a biological system at the molecular, physiological or organismal level when given a scenario in which one or more components within a negative regulatory system is altered. [See SP 6.1]

LO 2.16 The student is able to connect how organisms use negative feedback to maintain their internal environments. [See SP 7.2]

LO 2.17 The student is able to evaluate data that show the effect(s) of changes in concentrations of key molecules on negative feedback mechanisms. [See SP 5.3]

LO 2.18 The student can make predictions about how organisms use negative feedback mechanisms to maintain their internal environments. [See SP 6.4]

LO 2.19 The student is able to make predictions about how positive feedback mechanisms amplify activities and processes in organisms based on scientific theories and models. [See SP 6.4]

LO 2.20 The student is able to justify that positive feedback mechanisms amplify responses in organisms. [See SP 6.1]

LO 2.42 The student is able to pose a scientific question concerning the behavioral or physiological response of an organism to a change in its environment [SP 3.1]


Essential knowledge 2.C.2: Organisms respond to changes in their external environments.

a. Organisms respond to changes in their environment through behavioral and physiological mechanisms.

To foster student understanding of this concept, instructors can choose an illustrative example such as:


Learning Objective:

LO 2.21 The student is able to justify the selection of the kind of data needed to answer scientific questions about the relevant mechanism that organisms use to respond to changes in their external environment. [See SP 4.1]



Lesson 2: Homeostatic Mechanisms

Enduring understanding 2.D: Growth and dynamic homeostasis of a biological system are influenced by changes in the system’s environment.


Day 1:

Essential knowledge 2.D.2: Homeostatic mechanisms reflect both common ancestry and divergence due to adaptation in different environments.

a. Continuity of homeostatic mechanisms reflects common ancestry, while changes may occur in response to different environmental conditions. [See also 1.B.1]

b. Organisms have various mechanisms for obtaining nutrients and eliminating wastes.

To foster student understanding of this concept, instructors can choose an illustrative example such as:


Day 2:

c. Homeostatic control systems in species of microbes, plants and animals support common ancestry. [See also 1.B.1]

To foster student understanding of this concept, instructors can choose an illustrative example such as the comparison of:


Learning Objectives:

LO 2.25 The student can construct explanations based on scientific evidence that homeostatic mechanisms reflect continuity due to common ancestry and/or divergence due to adaptation in different environments. [See SP 6.2]

LO 2.26 The student is able to analyze data to identify phylogenetic patterns or relationships, showing that homeostatic mechanisms reflect both continuity due to common ancestry and change due to evolution in different environments. [See SP 5.1]

LO 2.27 The student is able to connect differences in the environment with the evolution of homeostatic mechanisms. [See SP 7.1]



Essential knowledge 2.D.3: Biological systems are affected by disruptions to their dynamic homeostasis.

a. Disruptions at the molecular and cellular levels affect the health of the organism.

To foster student understanding of this concept, instructors can choose an illustrative example such as:


Learning Objective:

LO 2.28 The student is able to use representations or models to analyze quantitatively and qualitatively the effects of disruptions to dynamic homeostasis in biological systems. [See SP 1.4]


Lesson 3: Defenses

Enduring understanding 2.D: Growth and dynamic homeostasis of a biological system are influenced by changes in the system’s environment.


Essential knowledge 2.D.4: Plants and animals have a variety of chemical defenses against infections that affect dynamic homeostasis.

a. Plants, invertebrates and vertebrates have multiple, nonspecific immune responses.

Students should be able to demonstrate understanding of the above concept by using an illustrative example such as:

b. Mammals use specific immune responses triggered by natural or artificial agents that disrupt dynamic homeostasis.

Evidence of student learning is a demonstrated understanding of each of the following:

1. The mammalian immune system includes two types of specific responses: cell mediated and humoral.

2. In the cell-mediated response, cytotoxic T cells, a type of lymphocytic white blood cell, “target” intracellular pathogens when antigens are displayed on the outside of the cells.

3. In the humoral response, B cells, a type of lymphocytic white blood cell, produce antibodies against specific antigens.

4. Antigens are recognized by antibodies to the antigen.

5. Antibodies are proteins produced by B cells, and each antibody is specific to a particular antigen.

6. A second exposure to an antigen results in a more rapid and enhanced immune response.


Learning Objectives:

LO 2.29 The student can create representations and models to describe immune

responses. [See SP 1.1, 1.2]

LO 2.30 The student can create representations or models to describe nonspecific

immune defenses in plants and animals.[See SP 1.1, 1.2]



Lesson 4: Responses

Enduring understanding 2.E: Many biological processes involved in growth, reproduction and dynamic homeostasis include temporal regulation and coordination.


Essential knowledge 2.E.2: Timing and coordination of physiological events are regulated by multiple mechanisms.

a. In plants, physiological events involve interactions between environmental stimuli and internal molecular signals. [See also 2.C.3]

Evidence of student learning is a demonstrated understanding of each of the following:

1. Phototropism, or the response to the presence of light

2. Photoperiodism, or the response to change in length of the night, that results in flowering in long-day and short-day plants

b. In animals, internal and external signals regulate a variety of physiological responses that synchronize with environmental cycles and cues.

To foster student understanding of this concept, instructors can choose an illustrative example such as:

c. In fungi, protists and bacteria, internal and external signals regulate a variety of physiological responses that synchronize with environmental cycles and cues.

To foster student understanding of this concept, instructors can choose an illustrative example such as:


Learning Objectives:

LO 2.35 The student is able to design a plan for collecting data to support the scientific claim that the timing and coordination of physiological events involve regulation. [See SP 4.2]

LO 2.36 The student is able to justify scientific claims with evidence to show how timing and coordination of physiological events involve regulation. [See SP 6.1]

LO 2.37 The student is able to connect concepts that describe mechanisms that regulate the timing and coordination of physiological events. [See SP 7.2]

LO 2.42 The student is able to pose a scientific question concerning the behavioral or physiological response of an organism to a change in its environment [SP 3.1]

LO 2.43 The student is able to connect the concept of cell communication to the functioning of the immune system [See SP 7.2]


Lesson 5: Cellular Communication


Enduring understanding 3.D: Cells communicate by generating, transmitting and receiving chemical signals.


Day 1:


Essential knowledge 3.D.1: Cell communication processes share common features that reflect a shared evolutionary history.

a. Communication involves transduction of stimulatory or inhibitory signals from other cells, organisms or the environment. [See also 1.B.1]

b. Correct and appropriate signal transduction processes are generally under strong selective pressure.

c. In single-celled organisms, signal transduction pathways influence how the cell responds to its environment.

To foster student understanding of this concept, instructors can choose an illustrative

example such as:

d. In multicellular organisms, signal transduction pathways coordinate the activities within individual cells that support the function of the organism as a whole.

To foster student understanding of this concept, instructors can choose an illustrative

example such as:


Learning Objectives:

LO 3.31 The student is able to describe basic chemical processes for cell communication shared across evolutionary lines of descent. [See SP 7.2]

LO 3.32 The student is able to generate scientific questions involving cell communication as it relates to the process of evolution. [See SP 3.1]

LO 3.33 The student is able to use representation(s) and appropriate models to describe features of a cell signaling pathway. [See SP 1.4]



Day 2:

Essential knowledge 3.D.2: Cells communicate with each other through direct contact with other cells or from a distance via chemical signaling.

a. Cells communicate by cell-to-cell contact.

To foster student understanding of this concept, instructors can choose an illustrative example such as:

b. Cells communicate over short distances by using local regulators that target cells in the vicinity of the emitting cell.

To foster student understanding of this concept, instructors can choose an illustrative example such as:


c. Signals released by one cell type can travel long distances to target cells of another cell type.

Evidence of student learning is a demonstrated understanding of the following:

1. Endocrine signals are produced by endocrine cells that release signaling molecules, which are specific and can travel long distances through the blood to reach all parts of the body.

To foster student understanding of this concept, instructors can choose an

illustrative example such as:


Learning Objectives:

LO 3.34 The student is able to construct explanations of cell communication through cell-to-cell direct contact or through chemical signaling. [See SP 6.2]

LO 3.35 The student is able to create representation(s) that depict how cell-to-cell communication occurs by direct contact or from a distance through chemical signaling. [See SP 1.1]


______________________________________________________________________________________

Day 3:

Essential knowledge 3.D.4: Changes in signal transduction pathways can alter cellular response.

a. Conditions where signal transduction is blocked or defective can be deleterious, preventative or prophylactic.

To foster student understanding of this concept, instructors can choose an illustrative example such as:


Learning Objectives:

LO 3.37 The student is able to justify claims based on scientific evidence that changes in signal transduction pathways can alter cellular response. [See SP 6.1]

LO 3.38 The student is able to describe a model that expresses key elements to show how change in signal transduction can alter cellular response. [See SP 1.5]

LO 3.39 The student is able to construct an explanation of how certain drugs affect signal reception and, consequently, signal transduction pathways. [See SP 6.2]


Lesson 6: Nervous systems

Enduring understanding 3.E: Transmission of information results in changes within and between biological systems.


Essential knowledge 3.E.2: Animals have nervous systems that detect external and internal signals, transmit and integrate information, and produce responses.


Day 1:

a. The neuron is the basic structure of the nervous system that reflects function.

Evidence of student learning is a demonstrated understanding of each of the following:

1. A typical neuron has a cell body, axon and dendrites. Many axons have a myelin sheath that acts as an electrical insulator.

2. The structure of the neuron allows for the detection, generation, transmission and integration of signal information.

3. Schwann cells, which form the myelin sheath, are separated by gaps of unsheathed axon over which the impulse travels as the signal propagates along the neuron.

b. Action potentials propagate impulses along neurons.

Evidence of student learning is a demonstrated understanding of each of the following:

1. Membranes of neurons are polarized by the establishment of electrical potentials across the membranes.

2. In response to a stimulus, Na+ and K+ gated channels sequentially open and cause the membrane to become locally depolarized.

3. Na+/K+ pumps, powered by ATP, work to maintain membrane potential.

c. Transmission of information between neurons occurs across synapses.

Evidence of student learning is a demonstrated understanding of each of the following:

1. In most animals, transmission across synapses involves chemical messengers called neurotransmitters.

To foster student understanding of this concept, instructors can choose an illustrative example such as:

2. Transmission of information along neurons and synapses results in a response.

3. The response can be stimulatory or inhibitory.


Day 2:

d. Different regions of the vertebrate brain have different functions.

To foster student understanding of this concept, instructors can choose an illustrative

example such as:


Learning Objectives:

LO 3.43 The student is able to construct an explanation, based on scientific theories and models, about how nervous systems detect external and internal signals, transmit and integrate information, and produce responses. [See SP 6.2, 7.1]

LO 3.44 The student is able to describe how nervous systems detect external and internal signals. [See SP 1.2]

LO 3.45 The student is able to describe how nervous systems transmit information. [See SP 1.2]

LO 3.46 The student is able to describe how the vertebrate brain integrates information to produce a response. [See SP 1.2]

LO 3.47 The student is able to create a visual representation of complex nervous systems to describe/explain how these systems detect external and internal signals, transmit and integrate information, and produce responses. [See SP 1.1]

LO 3.48 The student is able to create a visual representation to describe how nervous systems detect external and internal signals. [See SP 1.1]

LO 3.49 The student is able to create a visual representation to describe how nervous systems transmit information. [See SP 1.1]

LO 3.50 The student is able to create a visual representation to describe how the vertebrate brain integrates information to produce a response. [See SP 1.1]


Lesson 7: Organ Systems Coordination

Enduring understanding 4.A: Interactions within biological systems lead to complex properties.

Day 1:

Essential knowledge 4.A.4: Organisms exhibit complex properties due to interactions between their constituent parts.

a. Interactions and coordination between organs provide essential biological activities.

To foster student understanding of this concept, instructors can choose an illustrative example such as:

b. Interactions and coordination between systems provide essential biological activities.

To foster student understanding of this concept, instructors can choose an illustrative example such as:


Learning Objectives:

LO 4.8 The student is able to evaluate scientific questions concerning organisms that exhibit complex properties due to the interaction of their constituent parts. [See SP 3.3]

LO 4.9 The student is able to predict the effects of a change in a component(s) of a biological system on the functionality of an organism(s). [See SP 6.4]

LO 4.10 The student is able to refine representations and models to illustrate biocomplexity due to interactions of the constituent parts.[See SP 1.3]


______________________________________________________________________________________

Day 2:

Enduring understanding 4.B: Competition and cooperation are important aspects of biological systems.


Essential knowledge 4.B.2: Cooperative interactions within organisms promote efficiency in the use of energy and matter.

a. Organisms have areas or compartments that perform a subset of functions related to energy and matter, and these parts contribute to the whole. [See also 2.A.2, 4.A.2]

Evidence of student learning is a demonstrated understanding of each of the following:

1. At the cellular level, the plasma membrane, cytoplasm and, for eukaryotes, the organelles contribute to the overall specialization and functioning of the cell.

2. Within multicellular organisms, specialization of organs contributes to the overall functioning of the organism.

To foster student understanding of this concept, instructors can choose an

illustrative example such as:

3. Interactions among cells of a population of unicellular organisms can be similar to those of multicellular organisms, and these interactions lead to increased efficiency and utilization of energy and matter.

To foster student understanding of this concept, instructors can choose an

illustrative example such as:


Learning Objective:

LO 4.18 The student is able to use representations and models to analyze how cooperative interactions within organisms promote efficiency in the use of energy and matter. [See SP 1.4]


Lesson 8: Development

Enduring understanding 2.E: Many biological processes involved in growth, reproduction and dynamic homeostasis include temporal regulation and coordination.


Essential knowledge 2.E.1: Timing and coordination of specific events are necessary for the normal development of an organism, and these events are regulated by a variety of mechanisms.

a. Observable cell differentiation results from the expression of genes for tissue-specific proteins.

b. Induction of transcription factors during development results in sequential gene expression.

Evidence of student learning is a demonstrated understanding of each of the following:

1. Homeotic genes are involved in developmental patterns and sequences.

2. Embryonic induction in development results in the correct timing of events.

3. Temperature and the availability of water determine seed germination in most plants.

4. Genetic mutations can result in abnormal development.

5. Genetic transplantation experiments support the link between gene expression and normal development.

6. Genetic regulation by microRNAs plays an important role in the development of organisms and the control of cellular functions.

c. Programmed cell death (apoptosis) plays a role in the normal development and differentiation.

Students should be able to demonstrate understanding of the above concept by using an illustrative example such as:


Learning Objectives:

LO 2.31 The student can connect concepts in and across domains to show that timing and coordination of specific events are necessary for normal development in an organism and that these events are regulated by multiple mechanisms. [See SP 7.2]

LO 2.32 The student is able to use a graph or diagram to analyze situations or solve problems (quantitatively or qualitatively) that involve timing and coordination of events necessary for normal development in an organism. [See SP 1.4]

LO 2.33 The student is able to justify scientific claims with scientific evidence to show that timing and coordination of several events are necessary for normal development in an organism and that these events are regulated by multiple mechanisms. [See SP 6.1]

LO 2.34 The student is able to describe the role of programmed cell death in development and differentiation, the reuse of molecules, and the maintenance of dynamic homeostasis. [See SP 7.1]


Lesson 9: Behavior

Enduring understanding 2.E: Many biological processes involved in growth, reproduction and dynamic homeostasis include temporal regulation and coordination.


Essential knowledge 2.E.3: Timing and coordination of behavior are regulated by various mechanisms and are important in natural selection.

a. Individuals can act on information and communicate it to others.

Evidence of student learning is a demonstrated understanding of each of the following:

1. Innate behaviors are behaviors that are inherited.

2. Learning occurs through interactions with the environment and other organisms.

b. Responses to information and communication of information are vital to natural selection. [See also 2.C.3]

Evidence of student learning is a demonstrated understanding of each of the following:

1. In phototropism in plants, changes in the light source lead to differential growth, resulting in maximum exposure of leaves to light for photosynthesis.

2. In photoperiodism in plants, changes in the length of night regulate flowering and preparation for winter.

3. Behaviors in animals are triggered by environmental cues and are vital to reproduction, natural selection and survival.

Students should be able to demonstrate understanding of the above concept by

using an illustrative example such as:

4. Cooperative behavior within or between populations contributes to the survival of the populations.

Students should be able to demonstrate understanding of the above concept by

using an illustrative example such as:


Learning Objectives:

LO 2.38 The student is able to analyze data to support the claim that responses to

information and communication of information affect natural selection. [See SP 5.1]

LO 2.39 The student is able to justify scientific claims, using evidence, to describe

how timing and coordination of behavioral events in organisms are regulated by

several mechanisms. [See SP 6.1]

LO 2.40 The student is able to connect concepts in and across domain(s) to predict

how environmental factors affect responses to information and change behavior.

[See SP 7.2]



Untested:

No specific behavioral or physiological mechanism is required for teaching the above concept. Teachers are free to choose the mechanism that best fosters student understanding.

Memorization of the structures of specific antibodies is beyond the scope of the course and the AP Exam.

Names of the specific stages of embryonic development are beyond the scope of the course and the AP Exam.

Memorization of the names, molecular structures and specific effects of all plant hormones are beyond the scope of the course and the AP Exam.

Memorization of the names, molecular structures and specific effects of hormones or features of the brain responsible for these physiological phenomena is beyond the scope of the course and the AP Exam.

No specific system, with the exception of the endocrine system, is required for teaching the concepts in 3.D.2 . Teachers are free to choose a system that best fosters student understanding. Study of the nervous and immune systems is required for concepts detailed in 3.E.2 and 2.D.4.

Specific mechanisms of the diseases in 3.D.4.a and action of drugs are beyond the scope of the course and the AP Exam.

The types of nervous systems, development of the human nervous system, details of the various structures and features of the brain parts, and details of specific neurologic processes are beyond the scope of the course and the AP Exam.