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ETD 58: A. What is the importance of mycorrhizae? B. What are the major stages of Animal Embryonic Development?
March 11, 2013 at 5:51pm

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1.  Talk to their parent about today's entry task and learning target, sharing with their parent what they learned about these topics in today's AP Biology class .  Remember that teaching others is the best way to learn.

2.  Have their parent submit a comment to this discussion topic through my swift website reflecting what they found interesting from their discussion with their student/child.

3.  The student must also submit their own comment about this discussion topic on my swift site in regards to what more they learned from discussing the topic with the parent.

Both the student and the parent must submit their comments to the discussion thread topics to receive extra credit for the student.  The more discussion threads that you both submit, the greater the extra credit boost at the end of semester.

The ultimate goal of this is to get students to process the learning targets from each AP Biology lesson, so that they are ready for the AP Biology Test in May and to foster a connection between their learning at school and the learning that can continue at home with their parents. Remember that teaching others is the best way to learn, don't be afraid to share your ideas.

Thanks for participating,
Jonathan Neil


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Kailee H.
March 14, 2013 at 5:23pm

Kailee discussed the importance of mycorrhizae and plants and how they work together. We also talked about embryonic development. What I found interesting is that all animals develop the same way, forming a blastula and undergoing gastrulation. ------------------------------------------------------------------- In teaching my mother about mycorrhizae and animal embryonic development, I learned how difficult it can be sometimes to explain a tough concept to someone who is unlearned in a certain subject area. I learned how to make the topics easier to understand for myself and others (i.e. remember the blastula is like a hollow meatball and mycorrhizae = more minerals = mutualism)

Carly O.
March 17, 2013 at 3:11pm

Carly explained to me the step by step process of how certain types of fungi work with their host plant, to enchance the plants process in bringing in minerals and food, which helps the plants, and also makes it possible for the fungi to develop and surive, a symbiotic relationship for both. ------------------------------- I taught my dad all there was to know about mycorrhizae in how it works for fungi. He was actually pretty interested in how they have this mutualistic relationship with the plants, and the fact that it is a mutualistic relationship, not a parasitic one. It helped me to undersdtand this concept better, by trying to explain it to him.

Courtney S.
March 26, 2013 at 6:39pm

Courtney explained the fungi and plant symbiotic relationship and went into detail about how they benefit each other.How they both specialize the fungus being underground, specializing in water and minerals. the plant uses the ability of photosynthesis the produce sugars. this gives both a better chance of survival because they share their resources. she also explained the steps of embryonic development. I found it very interesting how early cells start to specialize. --------- I found it very helpful to explain it to someone else. My dad asked questions that I had not though about before so i had to think for a minute to find an answer. It made me think I a different way helping me make connections.

Adilah M.
May 12, 2013 at 6:23pm

Adilah explained to me that certain plants have roots that host fungi. These fungi allow plants to increase their surface area. This allows them to be able to better absorb nutrients. She also told me about the stages of embryonic development in animals. I found it interesting how there are many similarities among the developmental stages of various animals and humans. -------------------------------- I told my mom about the stages of animal embryonic development and micorrhizae. I was able to develop a deeper understanding of mutualistic relationships by discussing this with my mother. We also discussed the homology among various members among the animal kingdom regarding embryonic development. This discussion also helped me expand my knowledge of that.

Sophie Wulfing
April 27, 2014 at 9:17pm

A.  Micor means fungi.  Rhizae means roots.  Micorrhizae implies a symbiotic relationship between the root of a plant and the fungi.    Two types; ecto-micorrhizae sits on the outside of the root, and arbuscular (means tree) goes within the root.  Increases the surface area of the root, increasing absorption of nutrients, and the fungi gets sugar.

B.  Zygote cleaves into eight cells after fertilization.  And then continues on to a blastula (a hollow ball).  This then gastrualizes (folds in on itself), insides become the digestive system (stomach).  Outer part (the ecto-derm) becomes the skin.  The space btween insides and outsides is the blastocoel (becomes lungs and heart).  The archanterion forms the mouth or anus (depending)

Sophie- The two types of mycorrhizae are hard to remember because when you hear ecto, you automatically think that the opposite is endo. instead, it is arbuscular, where arb is tree "in french arbre means tree" The fungi also fizes phosphates and nitrates into the root, acting a decomposers. The vocabulary is the hardest part of this edt with the blastula v the blastocoel v the blastopore. the easiest way to remember these is to visualize where they are on the cell, and what they become

Madison Boggan
March 18, 2015 at 6:24pm

Parent: I thought it was interesting to learn that some of the root-like structures on the roots of plants are actually fungi. These are called hyphae. This combination of fungi and plants is helpful to both of them. Plants provide food and fungi provide extra absorption. Maddie told me that salinization which is killing crops is doing so by killing the fungi. Also, I learned that in embryonic development what was skin at one point turns into our brains. 

Student: While teaching my mom, I taught myself an analogy too. I told my mom that mycorrhizae and plants are holding hands-they are entangled for one and for two they are helping each other / fond of each other. Without the other, they would fall down as a person would if they tripped and weren't holding someone's hand. 

Madison Neyers
April 12, 2015 at 7:16pm

Student: This was helpful because it really emphasizes the importance of surface area. Roots are already an important structure that use an abundance of surface area to function better and faster by using the least amount of energy. Then having mychorrizzae to expand inside the roots as well as outside it increases surface area even more. Even better, is that the mychorrizae and fungal roots have a symbiotic relationship which allows them to work together providing sugars and water to each part of the fungi.

Parent: I thought it was interesting to learn how important surface area is in the human body as well as in many other structures of plants, cells and almost anything. I also learned how a blastula transforms to a gastrula using gastrulation to form a gut ultimately creating a mouth and an anus in the embryonic development of an animal.

Calista Moore
May 01, 2016 at 3:59pm

Student: I explained why surface area is important in biology in ideas such as gas exchange before explaining mycorrhizae to help explain the importance of mycorrhizae for a tree. I gave other examples of mutualism such as bacteria helping in human digestion. To explain animal embryonic development I broke down words such as ectoderm and endoderm to explain why each layer became a certain part of the body. I also explained the importance of a zygote being diploid and how that means it has two sets of chromosomes.

Parent: I found interesting that the fungus not only grows on trees above ground but underneath on the root system as well, helping the tree survive and flourish. Symbiotic relationships are interesting in how they develop and are an integral part of the ecosystem.

Zach Holtz
March 11, 2020 at 7:52pm

Student:   It was cool to review what mycorrhizae.  This is when fungi create a symbiotic relationship with plant roots.  This allows the plants to increase their surface area and the fungi to survive.  It was also nice to go over embryotic development.  It starts out with a sperm and an ova which form a zygote.  After that, there are steps of cleavage which eventually starts gastrulation.  The ectoderm of the gastrula goes out and forms the spine and brain while the endoderm goes and forms the gastro tract and lungs.

Parent:   It was interesting to learn about mycorrhizae.  I never knew the fungi and plants worked together to help each other.  It was also fun to learn about embryonic development.  I had never heard of gastrulation.  It was interesting to learn that one side turns into the anus while the other turns into a mouth.  The sides vary depending on the animal.

Alaina Brady
March 11, 2020 at 11:26pm

Parent: Both ectomycorrizae and arbustular mycorrizae live on the root of a plant.  The ecto one lives on the outside of the and the arbustular one live both in and outside of the root.  The plant provides the fungus with nutrients  and the fungus increases the surface area of the root, helping the plant absorb more water and nitrogen. 

The first phase of animal embryonic development is a Zygote, the sperm and the egg together.  The Zygote undergoes cleavage and moves on to the 8 cell state.  The cells keep dividing to form a Blastula, which has a hollow center called the blastocoel.  It then folds in on itself during gastrulation to form a gastrula.  The gastrula has the folded in section called the blastore which will become an anus or a mouth.  

Student: I explained the mutually beneficial relationship between a mycorrizae and a plant root to my mom. The fungus grows on/in the plant root and increases surface area of the root, which helps it absorb water, nitrates, and phosphates. The plant provides sugar to the fungus,

I also explained the phases of embryonic development. Once a zygote is formed, it undergoes cleavage, rapid cell division, to transition to the 8 cell stage, and eventually the blastula. The blastula undergoes gastrulation, forming a gastrula with a blastopore, which developes into a mouth or an anus depending on if the organism is a protostome or a deuterostome. 

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