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Heredity is the passing on of traits from parent to offspring. The genetic makeup of an individual is
as its genotype. The physical characteristics of an individual, which are the result of its genotype and
environment, are known as its phenotype.
Some alleles are expressed only when the genotype is homozygous. These alleles are said to
recessive phenotypes. Alleles that are expressed whether the genotype is homozygous or
produce dominant phenotypes. An allele that codes for a dominant trait is represented by a capital
while an allele that codes for a recessive trait is represented by a lowercase letter. Sometimes when
genotype is heterozygous, neither the dominant nor the recessive phenotype occurs. In this situation,
called incomplete dominance, an intermediate phenotype is produced.
In humans, the sex of an individual is determined by the particular combination of two chromosomes
the sex chromosomes. Individuals who have two X chromosomes (XX) are females, whereas those
have an X and a Y chromosome (XY) are males. In this investigation, you will observe how the results
different allele combinations produce certain traits.

How are traits inherited?

Read the entire investigation. Then, work with a partner to answer the following questions.
1. What does a single side of a double-sided coin or disk represent?

2. What is the probability in percent, that a single coin toss will result in heads? In tails?
3. Why is tossing a coin a good way to represent allele combinations that occur in nature?

4. For the traits explored in this lab, do all heterozygous pairs of alleles produce an intermediate
5. Can you 
determine an organism¶s genotype by observing its phenotype? Explain your

(per group)
Two (2) coins


1. Randomly pick your genotype for each characteristic by flipping 2 coins (heads is dominant). Write
letter in the dad column and one letter in the mom column. For example if you flip one head and one
tail, you are heterozygous.
2. The first six sets of alleles go in the first homologous chromosomes, the second six go in the next
chromosomes and the last five go in the final chromosomes. The letters under the dad column go in
dad chromosome. Remember, during S phase the DNA replicates, so you will write the letters twice,
on each side of the X (the sister chromatids). Repeat the process with the mom chromosomes.
3. During crossing over the dad and mom chromosomes exchange pieces. Only the inside piece of
each X
will cross over, and only the top and/or bottom portion, not the middle. Cross over your three
homologous chromosomes and write the new sequences in the X¶s after the arrow.
4. During Meiosis the homologous chromosomes and the sister chromatids separate producing four
gametes with one set of chromosomes. Write the sequence of alleles from each of the three
chromosomes in the chromosomes in the gamete (example: the A sister chromatids go in the A
5. With a partner, you will fertilize a gamete. Each partner flips a coin twice. Heads-Heads: gamete A,
Tails-Tails: gamete B, Heads-Tails: gamete C, Tails-Heads: gamete D.
6. Fill in the line below by describing the phenotype of your child for each trait and on the next page
the face, name the child and complete the birth certificate.
My baby has



1. Describe the gametes that are produced at the end of meiosis comparing them to each other?
 How are the end products of meiosis different from those of
mitosis? How are they similar?
  Would you predict that another pair of students in your class would have an offspring
genetically identical to yours? Support your answer.
   : Do you think anyone in the world has all the same genetic traits that you
have? Explain the process that accounts for the variation seen in sexually reproducing organisms.


Some inherited diseases cause an individual to die before reaching reproductive age. Using library or
Internet resources, read about one of these diseases, and write a brief report about what is
understood about its transmission, and in what types of populations it tends to occur. Some examples
of inherited diseases that cause early death include Duchenne muscular dystrophy, Tay-Sachs
disease, and Krabbe¶s disease.


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Students will solve a family pedigree problem by analyzing and solving family pedigree problems in
order to
understand how traits are passed from one generation to another.
A human generation spans more than 20 years, making it almost impossible to carry out the kinds of
experiments that are possible with other organisms, such as fruit flies. In order to study the
inheritance of
human traits, biologists have to rely on family histories and medical records to provide the information
need. One of the best ways to summarize this information is to construct a pedigree. A pedigree is a
diagram that follows inheritance of a single trait through several generations in a family.
When analyzing pedigrees, biologists find that certain phenotypes are usually repeated in predictable
patterns from one generation to the next. These patterns are called patterns of inheritance.
who have one copy of a recessive autosomal allele are called carries. Carriers usually do not express
recessive allele, but they can pass it along to their offspring.
In a pedigree, squares represent males and circles represent females. Vertical lines connect parents
their children, and horizontal lines connect male and female parents. In family symbols for the
children are
placed from left to right in birth order, with the oldest child on the extreme left. If a pedigree illustrates
inherited recessive trait, the squares or circles representing males and females with this trait are
shaded. If
a person is heterozygous for the trait (or a hybrid), the square or circle is half shaded.







Use complete sentences to answer the following:

1. What is a pedigree?

2. When analyzing pedigrees, what do scientists usually find repeating in predictable patterns?
3. What are individuals called that have one copy of the recessive autosomal allele?
4. In the pedigree example, what shape do they use for male and female?
5. What does it mean to be a carrier?
6. In the pedigree example, what do the lines connecting the squares and circle mean?



1. Pedigree 1 traces the dimple trait through

three generations of a family. Blackened
symbols represent people with dimples.
Circles represent females and squares
represent males.
2. The following passage describes the family
shown in Pedigree 1.
Although Jane and Joe Smith have dimples
their daughter, Clarissa does not. Joe¶s dad
has dimples, but his mother and sister Grace
does not. Jane¶s dad, Mr. Renaldo, her
brother, Jorge, and her sister, Emily does not
have dimples, but her mother does.
1. Write the name of each person below the correct symbol in Pedigree1. How are marriage and
offspring symbolized? What do the roman numerals symbolize?
2. Make a pedigree in the space below, based on the following passage about freckles.
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   )What advantages does a pedigree have over a written passage?

 How does a pedigree organize hereditary information, making it
to understand?

Alison was born April 24, 1998. While she was in the nursery, the nurses noticed that her diapers had
black tint to them even when there was only urine in the diaper. They suspected that she had
This is a genetic disorder that causes the body to build up homogentisic acid. This acid turns black
when it
is exposed to the air.
Initially this dark urine is the only symptom of alcaptonuria but later in life, connective tissue (bone)
becomes gray or black. There may also be dark spots on the cartilage of the ear and on the white
parts of
the eye (sclera). In middle age, an arthritic condition, especially in the lower back, hips and knees
develop and degeneration of the spinal discs may occur.V

Your job as genetic counselor is to help Alison¶s family trace where the gene came from. Alison¶s
needs help determining who in the family is heterozygous and who is homozygous. Write out a
pedigree on your own paper.
This genetic disorder follows Mendel¶s rules:
AA-free of disease; Aa-carrier (free of the disease); aa-has alcaptonuria.
The pedigree should include the following people:
Paternal Grandfather (PGF)
Paternal Grandmother (PFM)
Maternal Grandfather (MGF)
Maternal Grandmother (MGM)
Mother (M)
Father (F)
Maternal Aunt (MA)
Maternal Uncle (MU)
Paternal Aunt (PA)
Paternal Uncle (PU)
Brother (B)
Alison (A)V