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Environmental Factors Affecting

An organism’s external and internal environment
affects its genetic development.
– Temp., light, nutrition, chemicals, etc.
– Hormones or age.
Baldness in males, horn production in sheep, and vibrant feather
coloring in birds are all hormone related.
Recessive Genetic Disorders
Cystic Fibrosis is a genetic disorder that
results in the formation and accumulation
of mucus in the lungs and digestive tract
due to a defective protein in the plasma
– 1 in 28 white Americans carry the recessive
– 1 in 2500 white American children inherit the
Sickle-Cell anemia - red blood cell disorder that can be
found in humans that are homozygous as well as
– Causes red blood cells to become shaped like
sickles, or half moons.
– Most common among African Americans and White
Americans who descended from the Mediterranean
– Why? Sickle cell anemia is linked to Malaria
Phenylketonuria (PKU)
Caused by the absence of the enzyme that
converts phenylalanine to tyrosine
Affects central nervous system
Can cause mental retardation if not treated at birth
Treated by changing diet
– Tay–sachs disease
Affects central nervous system
Leads to blindness, loss of movement and
mental deterioration
Usually leads to death by age four
Most common among Ashkenazi Jews
Dominant Genetic Disorders
Huntington’s disease is a lethal genetic
disorder caused by a rare Dominant allele
(most disorders are caused by recessive
– The disease results in the breakdown of the brain and
there is currently not effective treatment.
– The onset of the disease usually does not occur until
the affected individual is between the ages of 30 and
50 – well after they could have passed the lethal gene
to their offspring.
– Polydactyly
more than 5 fingers or toes
The Human Pedigree
A way of showing a family tree that helps us
understand diseases and where the dangerous
alleles exist within a family.
A circle is a female
A square is a male
Dark color is an affected individual or
½ dark and ½ light is a carrier, or an individual that
does not show the phenotype but carries the
dangerous, often lethal allele.
Slash is death.
The Human Pedigree