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Heredity: Inheritance and Variation

Genetics and Heredity
Mendelian principle and Incomplete Dominance
Phenotypes and Genotypes in Incomplete Dominance
Multiple Alleles
Sex-linked Gene and Sex-limited Traits, Sex-influenced
DNA Structure
is the study of genes, heredity, and variation in living organisms. It is
generally considered a field of biology, but it intersects frequently with
many of the life sciences and is strongly linked with the study of
information systems.

- Derived from the Greek word genesis meaning handed down from parents to
- Basic physical and functional unit of heredity.
is the passing of traits to offspring from its
parents or ancestor. This is the process by
which an
offspring cell or organism acquires or
becomes predisposed to the
characteristics of its parent cell or
organism. Through heredity, variations
exhibited by individuals can accumulate
and cause some species to evolve. The
study of heredity in biology is
called genetics.
Mendelian principle and
Incomplete Dominance

Mendel's Law of Dominance states that recessive alleles will always be
masked by dominant alleles. Therefore, a cross between a homozygous
dominant and a homozygous recessive will always express the dominant
phenotype, while still having a heterozygous genotype. Law of Dominance
can be explained easily with the help of a mono hybrid cross experiment:-
In a cross between two organisms pure for any pair (or pairs) of contrasting
traits (characters), the character that appears in the F1 generation is called
"dominant" and the one which is suppressed (not expressed) is called
A monohybrid cross is a mating between individuals who have different alleles at
one genetic locus of interest
In Mendels experiments, the pure-breeding parent plants had two identical
genes for a trait: round seed = RR, wrinkled seed = rr. Mendel hypothesized
that: The pair of genes segregate or separate from each other during
gamete formation. This is now known as the Law of Segregation

The law of independent assortment explains why traits are inherited
independent of each other. The law applies to factors (or genes) that are
found on separate chromosomes. Since they are found on separate
chromosomes, the segregation of one pair of factors is not affected by the
segregation of the other pair. Therefore, their distribution in the resulting
gametes will be at random

Three Principles of Mendel
Non-Mendelian Patterns of Inheritance
When a pure red-flowered four oclock plant is crossed with a pure white-flowered
four oclock plant, the offspring will produce neither red nor white flowers. Instead,
all flowers will be pink. In other words, the offspring will have a phenotype
intermediate between the phenotype of both parents. Such a phenomenon is called
incomplete dominance. This means neither of the two alleles is completely
dominant, and the heterozygous will be a new phenotype. Therefore, the genotypic
ratio also becomes the phenotypic ratio.
Another pattern of inheritance is codominance. This results when one allele is not
dominant over the other. The resulting heterozygotes exhibit the traits of both
parents. One example of codominance is the MN blood typing in humans. On the
surface of our red blood cells are proteins bound to sugar molecules, forming
complexes called antigens. One group of antigens are controlled by a pair of alleles,
LM and LN. The pairing of these alleles will determine the blood type of an
individual, and there are three: M, MN and N.

Phenotypes and Genotypes in
Incomplete Dominance

- is the composite of an organism's
observable characteristics or traits.
- is the genetic makeup of a cell, an
organism, or an individual usually with
reference to a specific characteristic under
Incomplete dominance
- is a form of intermediate inheritance
in which one allele for a specific trait is not
completely dominant over the other allele.
- one allele is not completely
dominant over the other (blend)
heterozygous condition somewhere in

A homozygous blue wildcat is crossed with a
homozygous red wildcat. Give the Phenotypes
and Genotypes. (Both F
and F
- both alleles are expressed
equally in the phenotype of
the heterozygote (presence
of both phenotypes in an

In some species of frogs, green skin and purple skin are
codominant. Predict the outcome between two
heterozygous frogs.

Multiple Alleles

Multiple Alleles
is a type of non-Mendelian inheritance pattern that involves more
than just the typical two alleles that usually code for a certain
characteristic in a species. With multiple alleles, that means there is
more than two phenotypes available depending on the dominant or
recessive alleles that are available in the trait and the dominance
pattern the individual alleles follow when combined together.
Sex-linked Gene and Sex-limited Traits,
Sex-influenced Traits
Sex-linked Gene
A particularly important category of genetic linkage has to do
with the X and Y sex chromosomes. These not only carry the
genes that determine male and female traits but also those for
some other characteristics as well. Genes that are carried by
either sex chromosome are said to be sex linked. Men
normally have an X and a Y combination of sex chromosomes,
while women have two X's. Since only men inherit Y
chromosomes, they are the only ones to inherit Y-linked traits.
Men and women can get the X-linked ones since both inherit X
Sex-limited Traits
are those that are expressed exclusively in one sex of the species. In
cattle for instance, lactation is expressed in females but never in

Sex-limited genes are genes
that are present in both sexes of
sexually reproducing species but
are expressed in only one sex
and remain 'turned off' in the
Sex-influenced Traits
traits that are expressed in both sexes but more frequently in
one than in the other sex. Ex. Baldness and harelip in humans
Watsons and Cricks Model of DNA
The following are the features of the DNA
molecule as described by Watson and
Crick in 1953.
- 2 chains
- Purine opposite a pyrimidine
- Chains held together by H-bonds
- Guanine is paired with cytosine by three H-
- Adenine is paired with thymine by two H-
- Anti-parallel orientation of the two chains
DNA is composed of two chains
of repeating nucleotides. Each
nucleotide consists of three
These components are:
- Phosphate Group
- 2-deoxyribose sugar
- A nitrogen containing base: cytosine,
adenine, guanine, thymine
Components of DNA