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Introduction to Genetics

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1 Introduction to Genetics

2 The Work of Gregor Mendel
Every living thing has a set of characteristics inherited from its parent or parents Heredity holds the key to why each species is unique Genetics: the scientific study of heredity.

3 Gregor Mendel’s Peas He knew that female egg cells and male sperm cells combined in a process known as fertilization. Fertilization produces a new cell, which develops into a tiny embryo encased within a seed. He had several stocks of pea plants. These peas were true-breeding: if they were allowed to self-pollinate, they would produce offspring identical to themselves. One stock of seeds would produce only tall plants while the other would only produce short plants One line produced only green seeds and the other only yellow seeds. He wanted to produce seeds by joining male and female reproductive cells from two different plants. He removed the pollen producing organ from the plant and cross-pollinated by dusting the pollen of one plant to the female parts of the other plant Mendel was a monk that worked in the monastery garden. He carried out experiments with garden peas.

4 Genes and Dominance Trait: a specific characteristic, such as seed color or plant height, that varies from one individual to another. Mendel studied 7 different traits within the pea plant. He then crossed plants with each of the seven contrasting characters and studied their offspring. Each original pair of plants the P (parental) generation The offspring of the P generation are called the F1 generation. Hybrids: the offspring of crosses between parents with different traits. All of these offspring had the character of only one of the parents.

5 Genes and Dominance, cont.
In each cross, the character of the other parent seemed to have disappeared. Mendel’s conclusions: Biological inheritance is determined by factors that are passed from one generation to the next. Genes: the chemical factors that determine traits. Each trait Mendel studied was controlled by one gene that occurred in two contrasting forms. The contrasting forms produced the different characters for each trait. Alleles: different forms of a gene. The principle of dominance: some alleles are dominant and others are recessive. An organism with a dominant allele for a particular form of a trait will always exhibit that form of the trait. An organism with a recessive allele for a particular will exhibit that form only when the dominant allele for the trait is not present. In Mendel’s experiments, the allele for tall plants was dominant and the allele for short plants was recessive. The allele for yellow seeds was dominant, while the allele for green seeds was recessive

6 Segregation Had the recessive alleles disappeared, or were they still present in the F1 plants? To figure this out he crossed two of the F1 plants. In this cross Mendel discovered that the recessive traits reappeared. Segregation: separation Mendel assumed that the trait for shortness had separated from the trait for tallness. Separated during the formation of the sex cells, gametes. When each F1 plant flowers and produces gametes, the two alleles segregate from each other so that each gamete carries only a single copy of each gene. Therefore, each F1 plant produces two types of gametes-those with the allele for tallness and those with the allele for shortness.


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