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Name _________________________________ Per ______

Pedigrees
How do scientists trace hereditary diseases through a family history?

BACKGROUND: Imagine you want to learn about an inherited genetic trait present
in your family. How would you find out the chances of passing the trait to your
children? To do so, genetic counselors often prepare a pedigree, a chart that
shows how a trait is inherited over several generations in a family.

FIGURE 1. Pedigree of Sickle Cell in Four Generations

DIRECTIONS: Using the figures to guide you, answer the following questions with
your group. You do NOT need to use complete sentences, unless the question asks
you to.

1. Describe what Figure 1 shows.

2. What is a pedigree?
3. What does the circle shape represent? What does the square shape represent?
4. What does a diagonal line represent?

5. Determine how parents are shown in a pedigree. (Include a picture and a


description)

6. Determine how children are shown in a pedigree. (Include a picture and a


description)

7. How many siblings does the patient have?

8. If you are the patient, what is the relationship of the people in Generation I to
you?

9. Draw a pedigree below for the following information. Be sure to include the
generation numbers!
A girl with a recessive genetic disease (aa) has two sisters and one brother. Her
brother has the same disease, but her sisters do not. Her mother has the disease,
but her father does not.
READ THIS BEFORE MOVING ON:

Scientists can use pedigrees to determine if a disease is caused by a dominant or


recessive allele. Pedigrees are helpful if family members want to know if they are
carriers or if their children might get a genetic disease. Carriers are individuals
who are heterozygous for a genetic disease, but do not show symptoms of the
disorder. Carriers can pass the allele for the disease to their offspring.

FIGURE 2. Pedigree Case Studies

CASE 1 CASE 2 CASE 3

[ DOMINANT/RECESSIVE/UNKNOWN] [ DOMINANT/RECESSIVE/UNKNOWN]
[ DOMINANT/RECESSIVE/UNKNOWN]

10. Why are some people known as carriers?

11. For Case # 1, use a guess-and-check method to determine whether the


disease is dominant, recessive, or unknown. Under each circle or square, write
the genotypes for each person. Use A for dominant allele and a for recessive
allele. You may use A__ if you cannot determine the whole genotype.
Explain your answer.

12. For Case # 2, use a guess-and-check method to determine whether the


disease is dominant, recessive, or unknown. Write the genotypes for each
person, as you did for Case #1.
Explain your answer.

13. For Case # 3, use a guess-and-check method to determine whether the


disease is dominant, recessive, or unknown. Write the genotypes for each
person, as you did for Case #1.
Explain your answer.

Create Your Own Pedigree

In the space below, use colored pencils to create a pedigree with the following information. Follow the guidelines for a
pedigree when creating this one.

Ray and Elaine were married in 1970. They both had normal vision. They had 2 daughters and then a son. Both daughters,
Alicia and Candace, had normal vision and never had any children of their own. The son, Mike, was colorblind. The son
married Beth who also had normal vision and they had 2 children of their own, first Greg then Victoria. Victoria was
colorblind, but Greg was not. Colorblindness is a sex-linked recessive trait.

Do not forget what shapes are male and female. Place the names and genotypes of the
people under their shape.

Color your individuals the following:

Red- for colorblindness


White- for regular vision
Blue- for individuals with regular vision but are carriers

Green- unknown genotype