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Oral Allergy Syndrome

A Confluence of Immunology and Phylogeny


Author(s)

Merle K. Heidemann (rr)
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 Areas

N/A

Educational Level

High school, Undergraduate lower division, Undergraduate upper division

Format

PDF

Type / Methods

Analysis (Issues), Interrupted

Language

English

Subject Headings

Biology (General)  |   Cell Biology  |   Botany / Plant Science  |   Molecular Biology  |  


Date Posted

11/25/2019

Teaching Notes

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Teaching notes are intended to help teachers select and adopt a case. They typically include a summary of the case, teaching objectives, information about the intended audience, details about how the case may be taught, and a list of references and resources.

Supplemental Materials

In Part V of the case study students will need to copy and paste a series of amino acid sequences into their web browsers. Since students may have trouble copying-and-pasting correctly formatted sequences directly from the case study PDF, a simple text file of those sequences is included below in FASTA sequence block format.

  
  Simple text file of sequences

Answer Key

Answer keys for the cases in our collection are password-protected and access to them is limited to paid subscribed instructors. To become a paid subscriber, begin the process by registering.

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