yEvo Lab

yEvo is an authentic research experience designed for high school students to observe the process of evolution in their classrooms using yeast as a model organism. This project was created by the Dunham Lab at University of Washington Genome Sciences. More info on the overall program can be found on their website SEP is currently supporting yEvo's Azole Resistance Module 4: Fitness Competition/ Yeast Madness.
Close up of three elephants
Photo by Renee Geck


The researchers at the Dunham Lab at UW have been carrying out experimental evolutions with lab strains of S. cerevisiae that express vibrant pigments and thus each have a distinct color. Because of these colors, relative abundance of each strain in a mixed culture can be determined by counting colony forming units (CFUs) and calculating the ratio of colors . This approach can be used to determine whether yeast with different colors are better adapted to a particular environment. Students can use these colors in a competition experiment, which will allow them to determine which yeast from their experiments are best-adapted to the antifungal drug. To do this, students will first grow the yeast with different colors in a medium that does not contain the antifungal. Student will then mix these strains in media containing the antifungal drug Azole so that they will compete for resources. They will then plate these mixed cultures onto agar media. After a few days of growth, they can count the ratio of colors on each plate to determine which strain “won” the competition in each concentration


1 Lesson plan

Step 1: Complete Short Survey

Complete the short survey to support our grant-funded lessons.

Step 2: Download Lessons & Materials

Yeast Madness - Fitness Competition

This teacher guide contains goals, introduction, and procedures for conducting this activity in your classroom.

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Yeast Madness - Fitness Competition Student Version

This student guide contains a student version of the protocol with the same goals and intro as the teacher guide.

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Yeast Cards

These cards contain info about the different yeast strains and their mutations. These cards will help students predict which yeast strain they think will win in each competition.

See Yeast Cards

yEVO Visual Protocols

These are quick and easy to follow protocols for teacher and student use.

See Visual Protocols

yEVO Lab Website

The yEvo Lab website contains info on all yEvo projects beyond the one supported by SEP. It also has links to related publications, a visual mutation browser, and contact info for the Dunham Lab.

yEvo Website

SEP Teachers-Only Quick Links

These links are for SEP teachers who are part of the kit loan program. To become a part of the kit loan program you must complete the 3 week professional development program.