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Oral Allergy Syndrome

A Confluence of Immunology and Phylogeny



Co Authors:

Merle K. Heidemann
College of Natural Science, Emeritus
Michigan State University
heidema2@msu.edu

Mike S. Taylor
Department of Biology
Southeast Missouri State University
mtaylor@semo.edu

Amanda Storm
Department of Biology
Western Carolina University
arstorm@email.wcu.edu

Cassie Dresser-Briggs
Lyman Briggs College
Michigan State University
cdbriggs@msu.edu

Alexa Warwick
Department of Fisheries and Wildlife
Michigan State University
awarwick@msu.edu

Peter J.T. White
Lyman Briggs College
Michigan State University
pwhite@msu.edu

Abstract:

Students who work through this case study will follow the progress of “Sam” as he explores the microbiological mechanism of oral allergy syndrome, including an investigation of the lymphocytes and antibodies involved. Upon discovering the biological basis for allergic reactions, Sam creates a phylogenetic map of the fruits and vegetables he encounters in his everyday life to see if there is a pattern. The case study concludes with students running their own phylogenetic analysis using amino acid sequences and an online phylogenetic tree-building engine. Upon completion of the case, students should be able to explain the symptoms of allergic reactions in terms of immune system cells, describe the molecular features of cross reactivity, and build a phylogenetic tree using both morphological and molecular data. Designed for use in a college-level introductory biology class, this case study is also appropriate for an advanced placement or honors biology (high school) class; sections could also be used in upper-level classes, primarily cell biology (immunology) and evolution.

Objectives:
  • Explain the symptoms of allergic reactions in terms of cell biology (immune system cells).
  • Describe the molecular features of cross reactivity.
  • Build phylogenetic trees using morphological data.
  • Build phylogenetic trees using molecular data and interpret two kinds of phylogenetic trees.
Keywords: OAS; oral allergy syndrome; phylogenetics; pollen; immune system; food allergy; phylogeny
Topical Area: N/A
Educational Level: High school, Undergraduate lower division, Undergraduate upper division
Formats: PDF
Type/Method: Analysis (Issues), Interrupted
Language: English
Subject Headings: Biology (General)   Cell Biology   Botany / Plant Science   Molecular Biology  
Date Posted: 11/25/2019
Date Modified: N/A
Copyright: Copyright held by the National Center for Case Study Teaching in Science, University at Buffalo, State University of New York. Please see our usage guidelines, which outline our policy concerning permissible reproduction of this work.

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