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Achievement objective LW 7-4

Students will:

  • explain how the interaction between ecological factors and natural selection leads to genetic change within populations.


  • Recognises that the environment interacts with the genotype to produce the phenotype.
  • Predicts the outcomes of monohybrid crosses involving a range of allele interactions; for example, co-dominance, incomplete dominance, lethal alleles, multiple alleles.
  • Predicts the outcomes of dihybrid crosses involving complete dominance.
  • Recognises the effect of crossing over and linked genes on phenotypic ratios.
  • Identifies mutations and sexual recombination as sources of variation within the gene pool of a population.
  • Relates observed changes in allele frequency to the factors responsible, including natural selection, migration and genetic drift.

Possible context elaborations

  • Why do humans get scurvy?
  • Study lactose intolerance in different ethnic groups.
  • Nature versus nurture: explore the data from identical-twin studies.
  • Culture Drosophila flies (or use computer models) to trace sex-linked traits through successive generations.
  • Model crossing over using pipe cleaners or straws and relate to modified phenotype ratios.
  • DOC translocation of endangered saddlebacks to offshore islands: How has this strategy affected allele frequencies in isolated populations of saddlebacks?
  • The differing genetic origins of high altitude adaptation in Tibetans, Andeans and Atlas Mountain races.
  • Can we avoid selecting for 'superbugs' in NZ hospitals?
  • How has DOC applied evolutionary thinking to conserving the Kakapo?

Assessment for qualifications

At the time of publication, achievement standards were in development to align them withThe New Zealand Curriculum. Please ensure that you are using the correct version of the standards by going to the NZQA website

The NZQA subject-specific resources pages are very helpful. From there, you can find all the achievement standards and links to assessment resources, both internal and external.

Learn more with NZQA subject resources for:

Aligned level 1 achievement standards were registered for use in 2011 and level 2 for use in 2012; level 3 will be registered for use in 2013.

Last updated September 15, 2020