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The phenotype of an organism can change over multiple generations by artificially selecting for a particular trait. One such example is the manipulation of trichome density on the petioles (leaf stalks) of the Wisconsin fast plant, Brassica rapa.

If a horticulturalist developed a variant stock of the fast plant that expressed a low density of trichomes and grew it in the wild, which of the following would be a major deficiency in the plant’s ability to adapt to its environment?

By Knulclunk at English Wikipedia [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons.


The “hairless” plant would lose its ability to attract pollinators.


A low density of trichomes would diminish the plant’s ability to absorb nutrients.


A low density of trichomes decreases the plant’s ability to exchange gases such as $O_2$ and $CO_2$.


The “hairless” plant would not be able to ward off insect predators.

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