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Introduction to Genetics. The Work of Gregor Mendel. Genetics : The scientific study of heredity. (Is now at the core of a revolution in understanding biology.)

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Introduction to genetics
Introduction to Genetics

The work of gregor mendel
The Work of Gregor Mendel

  • Genetics: The scientific study of heredity. (Is now at the core of a revolution in understanding biology.)

  • Gregor Mendel: Was an Austrian Monk, who was in charge of the monastery garden. He was the first person to trace the characteristics of successive generations of a living thing (pea plants).

  • Mendel noticed while doing his work in the gardens, that part of each flower produces pollen, which contains the plant’s male reproductive cells, or sperm. Similarly, the female portion of the flower produces egg cells.

  • During sexual reproduction, male and female reproductive cells join, in a process known as fertilization. Fertilization produces a new cell, which develops into a tiny embryo encased within a seed.

Mendel s genetics
Mendel’s Genetics

  • Mendel’s pea plants were true-breeding, meaning that if they were allowed to self pollinate, they would produce offspring identical to themselves.

  • Mendel wanted to form different pea plants other than his true-breeding plants so he cross pollinated his pea plants by joining male and female reproductive cells from different plants.

Mendel s genetics1
Mendel’s Genetics

  • Mendel studied 7 different pea plant traits

  • Trait: a specific characteristic, such as seed color or plant height, that varies from one individual to another.

  • Hybrids: are the offspring of crosses between parents with different traits

  • P= parental generation

  • F1= 1st son or daughter generation (1st offspring)

Mendel’s Seven F1 Crosses on Pea Plants

Seed Shape

Seed Color

Seed Coat




Pod Color

Flower Position

Plant Height






















Mendel s conclusions from his experiments
Mendel’s Conclusions From His Experiments

1st: was that biological inheritance is determined by factors that are passed from one generation to the next. (Scientist, call the chemical factors that determine traits genes.)

2nd: Principal of dominance: states that some alleles are dominant and others are recessive. (Alleles: different forms of a gene)

3rd: During gamete formation, alleles segregate from each other so that each gamete (sex cells) carries only a single copy of each gene. Each F1 plant produces two types of gametes- those with the allele for tallness and those with the allele for shortness

Principles of Dominance

P Generation

F1 Generation

F2 Generation









Probability and punnett squares
Probability and Punnett Squares

  • Probability: The likelihood that a particular event will occur.

    -Ex. Flipping a coin

  • The principals of probability can be used to predict the outcomes of genetic crosses.

  • Punnett Squares: used to predict and compare the genetic variations that will result from a cross

    • Homozygous: Organisms that have 2 identical alleles for a particular trait “TT or tt” (true-breeding)

    • Heterozygous: Organisms that have 2 different alleles for the same trait “Tt” (hybrid)

    • Phenotype: physical characteristics (Ex. tall plants)

    • Genotype: genetic makeup (Ex. TT or Tt)

Punnett square
Punnett Square

Exploring mendel s genetics
Exploring Mendel’s Genetics

  • The Two-Factor Cross:F1 Mendel crossed plants that were homozygous dominant for round yellow peas with plants that were homozygous recessive for wrinkled green peas. (All of the F1 offspring were heterozygous dominant for round yellow peas.) p.270

  • The Two-Factor Cross:F2 When Mendel crossed plants that were heterozygous dominant for round yellow peas, he found that the alleles segregated independently to produce the F2 generation.

  • Independent Assortment: independent segregation of genes during the formation of gametes (The Principal of Independent Assortment)

    • Accounts for the many genetic variations observed in plants, animals, and other organisms.

Independent Assortment in Peas

Shared traits
Shared Traits

  • Some alleles are neither dominant nor recessive, and many traits are controlled by multiple alleles or multiple genes.

    • Incomplete Dominance: Cases in which one allele is not completely dominant over another (Ex. crosses between red flowers and white flowers are pink flowers)

    • Co-dominance: Cases in which both alleles contribute to the phenotype. (Ex. Feathers that are speckled with black and white)

    • Multiple Alleles: Many genes have more than two alleles. (Ex. A rabbit’s coat color is determined by a single gene that has at least 4 different alleles.)

    • Polygenic Traits: Traits controlled by 2 or more genes. (Ex. At least 3 genes are involved in making the reddish-brown pigment in eyes of fruit flies.)


  • Human cells contain 46 chromosomes

  • Homologous: chromosomes that each have a corresponding chromosome from opposite-sex parent. (23 from dad and 23 from mom)

  • Diploid (2N): used to refer to a cell that contains both sets of homologous chromosomes. (Human Body Cell “46”)

  • Haploid (N): used to refer to a cell that contains only a single set of chromosomes and therefore only a single set of genes. (Gametes “23”)


  • How are haploid (N) gamete cells produced from diploid (2N) cells?

  • Meiosis: is the process of reduction division in which the number of chromosomes per cell is cut in half through the separation of homologous chromosomes in a diploid cell.

  • Meiosis I and Meiosis II

    • Tetrad: When each chromosome pairs with its corresponding homologous chromosome.

    • Crossing-over: When homologous chromosomes pair up and form tetrads during meiosis I, and exchange portions of their chromatids.


Meiosis I


Meiosis II

Prophase II

Metaphase II

Anaphase II

Telophase II

Meiosis I results in two haploid (N) daughter cells, each with half the number of chromosomes as the original.

The chromosomes line up in a similar way to the metaphase stage of mitosis.

The sister chromatids separate and move toward opposite ends of the cell.

Meiosis II results in four haploid (N) daughter cells.

Meiosis results
Meiosis Results

  • Gamete formation takes places at the end of meiosis.

    • Male Animals: Sperm

    • Plants: Pollens grains containing haploid sperm cells

    • Female Animals: Egg

    • Plants: Egg Cell

Comparing mitosis to meiosis
Comparing Mitosis To Meiosis

  • Mitosisresults in the production of two genetically identical diploid cells (daughter cells).

    • Somatic Cells: Body Cells

  • Meiosisproduces four genetically different haploid cells.

    • Germ Cells: Sperm and Egg

Gene linkage
Gene Linkage

  • A chromosome is actually a group of linked genes.

  • It is the chromosomes, however, that assort independently, not individual genes.

Gene mapping
Gene Mapping

  • Gene Map: Shows were the relative locations of each known gene is located on a particular chromosome.

  • Human Genome Project: Completed in 2006, mapped all the genes on the 23 pairs of human chromosomes.

Gene Map of the Fruit Fly

Exact location on chromosomes

Chromosome 2