Inquiry-based investigations of diseases are often difficult to safely undertake in middle school or high school science courses. However, by utilizing potatoes as a mammalian analogue, important groups of pathogens can be investigated with common materials available from the local supermarket. This article provides information to guide the exploration of factors underlying the development of the potato disease bacterial soft rot, caused by Pectobacterium caratovorum, and allows students the freedom to develop and test their own hypotheses regarding the development of symptoms, the spread of pathogens, and the impact of host and environmental variables on the progress of disease.

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Published in The American Biology Teacher, v. 80, no. 8, p. 594-599.

© 2018 National Association of Biology Teachers. All rights reserved.

Published as Hirsch, R. L., Miller, S., & Halterman, D. (2018). An inquiry-based investigation of bacterial soft rot of potato. The American Biology Teacher, 80(8), 594-599. https://doi.org/10.1525/abt.2018.80.8.594. Copying and permissions notice: Authorization to copy this content beyond fair use (as specified in Sections 107 and 108 of the U. S. Copyright Law) for internal or personal use, or the internal or personal use of specific clients, is granted by the National Association of Biology Teachers for libraries and other users, provided that they are registered with and pay the specified fee via Rightslink® or directly with the Copyright Clearance Center.

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