The cellular basis of inheritance
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The Cellular Basis of Inheritance. Repair and Growth. Reproduction. Asexual : process in which a single cell or set of cells produces offspring that inherit all their genetic material from one parent

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  • Asexual: process in which a single cell or set of cells produces offspring that inherit all their genetic material from one parent

  • Sexual: process in which genetic material from two parents combines and produces offspring that differ genetically from either parent


  • DNA is located in the nucleus

  • In the nucleus, they are found on long, thin fibers called Chromatin

    • Chromatin consists of DNA wound around proteins called histones

    • Next the DNA is wrapped into a tight helical formation


  • When a cell is preparing to divide, chromatin condense into chromosomes

  • The human somatic cell (body cell) has 46 chromosomes = diploid

    • An egg and sperm cell only has 23 = haploid

  • Each chromosome may contain thousands of genes


  • Before a cell divides, it replicates all of its chromosomes

  • Each chromosome now consists of 2 identical joined copies called sister chromatids

  • Each sister chromatid is joined by a centromere

The cell cycle
The Cell Cycle

  • Describes the process of cell division

  • Begins with interphase, followed by mitosis and cytokinesis

Cell cycle and mitosis
Cell Cycle and Mitosis

  • The eukaryotic cell cycle is divided into two major phases: interphase and cell division.

A interphase
A. Interphase

  • Ninety percent or more of the cell cycle is spent in interphase. During interphase, cellular organelles double in number, the DNA replicates, and protein synthesis occurs. The chromosomes are not visible and the DNA appears as uncoiled chromatin


  • Interphase is divided into the following stages:

    • G1

    • S

    • G2

G1 phase
G1 phase

  • During G1 phase, the period that immediately follows cell division, the cell grows and differentiates. New organelles are made but the chromosomes have not yet replicated in preparation for cell division.

S phase
S phase

  • DNA synthesis occurs during S phase. The chromosomes replicate in preparation for cell division

G2 phase
G2 phase

  • During G2 phase, molecules that will be required for cell replication are synthesized.

Cell division
Cell Division

  • Cell division consists of nuclear division and cytoplasmic division. Nuclear division is referred to as mitosis while cytoplasmic division is called cytokenesis

The cellular basis of inheritance

Interphase in a plant cell:

Interphase in an animal cell

Mitosis nuclear division
Mitosis (nuclear division)

  • Mitosis is the nuclear division process in eukaryotic cells and ensures that each daughter cell receives the same number of chromosomes as the original parent cell. Mitosis can be divided into the following phases: prophase, metaphase, anaphase, and telophase.


  • During prophase, the chromatin condenses and the chromosomes become visible. Also the nucleolus disappears, the nuclear membrane fragments, and the spindle appartus forms and attaches to the centromeres of the chromosomes.


Prophase in a plant cell

Prophase in an animal cell



  • During metaphase, the nuclear membrane fragmention is complete and the duplicated chromosomes line up along the cell's equator.


Metaphase in a plant cell

Metaphase in an animal cell:



  • During anaphase, diploid sets of daughter chromosomes separate and are pushed and pulled toward opposite poles of the cell. This is accomplished by the polymerization and depolymerization of the microtubules that help to form the spindle apparatus.


Anaphase in a plant cell:

Anaphase in an animal cell



  • During telophase, the nuclear membrane and nucleoli reform, cytokinesis is nearly complete, and the chromosomes eventually uncoil to chromatin. Usually cytokinesis occurs during telophase.


Telophase in a plant cell

Telophase in an animal cell


Cytokinesis cytoplasmic division
Cytokinesis (cytoplasmic division)

  • During cytokinesis, the dividing cell separates into two diploid daughter cells..

Cytokinesis cytoplasmic division1
Cytokinesis (cytoplasmic division)

  • In animal cells, which lack a cell wall and are surrounded only by a cytoplasmic membrane, microfilaments of actin and myosin attached to the membrane form constricting rings around the central portion of the dividing cell and eventually divide the cytoplasm into two daughter cells

Cytokinesis cytoplasmic division2
Cytokinesis (cytoplasmic division)

  • In the case of plant cells , which are surrounded by a cell wall in addition to the cytoplasmic membrane, carbohydrate-filled vesicles accumulate and fuse along the equator of the cell forming a cell plate that separates the cytoplasm into two daughter cells.

Cytokinesis in plants vs animal cells

In animal cells, cytokinesis begins in anaphase and continues until the cytoplasm has completely divided equally.

Indentation is caused by the contraction of microfilaments just under the plasma membrane

Cytokinesis in plants vs. animal cells

The cellular basis of inheritance

In plant cells, a disk containing cell wall material called a cell plate forms inside the cell and grows outward

Eventually the cell wall divides into 2

Mitosis a cell plate forms inside the cell and grows outward

  • 2 diploid cells are produced

  • Somatic body cells

  • Genetically identical cells produced


Caused by uncontrolled cell reproduction (mitosis) and severe disruption of the mechanisms that control mitosis

These cells form a mass called a tumor

Benign tumor: abnormal mass of normal cells


The cellular basis of inheritance

  • Malignant tumor: abnormal mass of cancer cells severe disruption of the mechanisms that control mitosis

    • Malignant tumor displaces the normal tissue as it grows

    • If it is not removed, the cells can break off and spread to other areas of the body via blood or lymph

    • The spread of cancer cells beyond their original site is called metastasis

Karyotype severe disruption of the mechanisms that control mitosis

  • Typical human cell has 46 chromosomes

  • A display of the all 46 chromosomes is called a karyotype

  • Each person has 2 twin chromosomes called homologous chromosomes

    • Where do you think each came from?

Homologous chromosomes
Homologous chromosomes severe disruption of the mechanisms that control mitosis

  • Each homologous chromosome carries the same sequence of genes controlling a characteristic, but different versions

  • Example:

    • Eye color is located on the same place, but may be different versions (blue, brown, hazel)

  • Different from sister chromatids because the material is genetically different

The cellular basis of inheritance

  • Humans have 23 homologous pairs of chromosomes severe disruption of the mechanisms that control mitosis

  • The 23rd pair are called sex chromosomes

  • All chromosomes look the same except for the sex csomes

    • Males have XY

    • Females have XX

Meiosis severe disruption of the mechanisms that control mitosis

  • Sexual reproduction that involves formation of sex cells (Chromosome 23)

  • 4 haploid cells are produced

  • Sex cells (gametes)

  • All 4 cells genetically different