An Introduction to genetic analysis by David T Suzuki

By David T Suzuki

It is a revision of the genetics textual content, thoroughly up to date and reorganized to mirror the speedy developments within the genetics box. The fourth version simplifies the presentation of inauspicious techniques with no compromising the text's clinical integrity

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44200_02_p27-72 3/2/04 11:37 AM Page 30 30 Chapter 2 • Patterns of Inheritance Other practical reasons for Mendel’s choice of peas were that they are inexpensive and easy to obtain, take up little space, have a short generation time, and produce many offspring. Such considerations often enter into the choice of organism in genetic research. Crosses of plants differing in one character Figure 2-3 One of the techniques of artificial cross-pollination, demonstrated with the Mimulus guttatus, the yellow monkey flower.

For example, how does the presence of the wild-type allele for pea color cause petals to be purple? The purple color of wild peas is caused by a pigment called anthocyanin, which is a chemical made in petal cells as the end product of a series of consecutive chemical conversions, rather like a chemical assembly line. Typically each of the conversions is controlled by a specific enzyme (a biological catalyst), and the structure of each of these enzymes (essentially its amino acid sequence) is dictated by the nucleotide sequence of a specific gene.

Mendel repeated the crossing procedures for the six other pairs of pea character differences. He found the same 3 : 1 ratio in the F2 generation for each pair (Table 2-1). By this time, he was undoubtedly beginning to attribute great significance to the 3 : 1 ratio and to think up an explanation for it. In all cases, one parental phenotype disappeared in the F1 and reappeared in one-fourth of the F2. Mendel went on to thoroughly test the class of F individuals showing the dominant phenotype. He found (apparently unexpectedly) that there were in fact two genetically distinct subclasses.

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