Teaching Resources

Beans are of course seeds.  And like most seeds are composed of three main parts; the seed coat, the embryo that will develop into the plant upon germination, and the endosperm. The endosperm in bean, a dicot, is composed of two cotyledons which provide energy and nutrients to the young developing plant until the root emerges.   Download  Genetic-Quiz.pdf for a short document that includes some basic mendelian genetics while illustrating the fact that the seed coat is derrived solely from maternal tissue and as such is genetically identical to the mother plant, while only the tissue inside the seedcoat is a cross between both parent plants.

Follow the link  http://www.beancap.org/Extension.cfm  to a page of  wonderful teaching resources developed by BeanCAP.  The site provides user friendly documents for elementary and early high school teachers and students as well as general information for the health conscious consumer. Phil McClean (North Dakota State University) is a member of our Scientific Advisory Committee and director of the BeanCAP project. 

If you are looking to provide your elementary or young high school aged students with a look into the life of young bean genomics researchers, then please share with them the following YouTube videos!

Over this past summer our project’s enthusiastic high school and university undergraduate students were asked to write, direct, and star in 4 videos reflecting the real life, hands on work they do on our research project.  They were asked to target the video content  to elementary, and young high school students... in other words, teaching resources by young scientists for the even younger scientists!   The four videos briefly cover working in the field, a bean DNA extraction method you can do in the class or even have your students do at home using simple every day supplies found in your average kitchen (click link for printable protocol extract DNA in your kitchen ), PCR (polymerase chain reaction) analysis of DNA, and DNA electrophoresis.  Please check back again shortly for text documents that you can use to further discuss these research topics with your students.  Although the "do it in the kitchen" method of DNA extraction will allow your students to watch as strands of DNA precipitate before their eyes, when we do DNA extraction in the lab  for the purpose of sequencing or other types of genetic analyisis we must use a method that yeilds a higher quality, purer form of DNA.

Bean Genomics- Field‬





The Nearly Perfect Food
By: Katherine Morrow
Why is the common dry bean being called the nearly perfect food? Beans provide protein, iron, magnesium, zinc, potassium and soluble fiber in high amounts. You may be surprised to learn that, black beans gram per gram contain the same amount of protein as beef but are cholesterol free and only have 1/3 of the calories. Black beans contain other vitamins and minerals including folate and molybdenum.  Beans contain high levels of disease fighting anti-oxidants that may help battle both cancer and heart disease. These life saving agents are found in the skin of the bean, known as the seed coat or testa,  and the darker the seed coat the higher the level of anti-oxidants. Another benefits of eating more beans is that they contain omega-3 essential fatty acids, which have been shown to lower blood pressure. One cup of beans provides 13g of fiber, ½ of your recommended daily fiber intake.  So now you can enjoy your bean salad with a guilt free conscience.


Texas Two-Bean Salad Recipe                                   
Prep Time
15 minutes
Total Time
1 hour 15 minute
 Serves 6

1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup cider vinegar
2 tablespoons sugar
1 can (15 ounces) black-eyed peas, rinsed and drained
1 can (15 ounces) pinto beans, rinsed and drained
1 jar (4 ounces) chopped pimentos, drained
2 celery stalks, chopped
1 red bell pepper (ribs and seeds removed), finely chopped
Coarse salt and ground pepper

In a medium bowl, whisk together oil, vinegar, and sugar. Add black-eyed peas, beans, pimentos, celery, and bell pepper. Season with salt and pepper, and toss to combine. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour (or up to 3 days). Serve with a slotted spoon.
Credit for the recipe and Photo go to MarthaStewart .com  http://www.marthastewart.com/315704/texas-two-bean-salad

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