DOMINANT AND RECESSIVE CHARACTERISTICS

Characteristics in the left-hand column dominate over those characteristics listed in the
right-hand column.

DOMINANT TRAITS

RECESSIVE TRAITS
grey, green, hazel, blue eyes

eye coloring

brown eyes

vision

farsightedness
normal vision
normal vision
normal vision

normal vision
nearsightedness
night blindness
color blindness*

hair

dark hair
non-red hair
curly hair
full head of hair
widow's peak

blonde, light, red hair
red hair
straight hair
baldness*
normal hairline

facial features

dimples
unattached earlobes
freckles
broad lips

no dimples
attached earlobes
no freckles
thin lips

appendages

extra digits
fused digits
short digits
fingers lack 1 joint
limb dwarfing
clubbed thumb
double-jointedness

normal
normal
normal
normal
normal
normal
normal

other

immunity to poison ivy
normal pigmented skin
normal blood clotting
normal hearing
normal hearing and speaking
normal- no PKU

susceptibility to poison ivy
albinism
hemophilia*
congenital deafness
deaf mutism
phenylketonuria (PKU)

* sex-linked characteristic

What's is an allele?

number
digits
digits
joints
proportion
thumb
joints

Genes are said to have the same locus if they occupy the same position on chromosomes. The expressed gene is said to be dominant over the unexpressed gene. anything that is part of the observable structure. metabolism. energy utilization. thehomologous chapter. cells. and they occupy specific places. But one gene may code for black eye while the other gene may code for blue eye. GENOTYPE .In the previous during meiosis. They control everything from the formation of protein macromolecules. tissues. the eye can either be black or blue. A gene is found on a chromosome. . These instructions are found within almost all cells (the "internal" part). You can thus calculate that the chance of this person having blue eye to black eye is 2:1. After reading this. We usually assume that there are only two distinctive traits. inheritable information" carried by all living organisms. The person can only have black eyes when both of the alleles codes for black eye. macromolecules. the sum of the atoms. These are the physical parts. In fact. then the gene on position 9 of homologous B also codes for eye color. structures. the genes must be referring to the same trait. the two genes are called alleles. function or behavior of a living organism. organs. which is described as recessive. we talked about homologous chromosomes pair up You may be confused about the word gene loci. you may be thinking what color will the eye be when two alleles are different. the person will have blue eyes when both or either one of his alleles for eye color is blue. This stored information is used as a "blueprint" or set of instructions for building and maintaining a living creature.This is the "outward. Since they occupy the same loci. in this case.  PHENOTYPE . For example. These instructions are intimately involved with all aspects of the life of a cell or an organism. only one of the alleles will be expressed in this case. to the regulation of metabolism and synthesis. because the dominant allele will always be expressed instead of the recessive alleles. A chromosome contains many genes. they are written in a coded language (the genetic code). molecules. if a gene on position 9 on homologous A codes for eye color. The gene of the unexpressed allele is not transcribed andtranslated. In this case.This is the "internally coded. not any other color. If blue eyes is the dominant trait. reflexes and behaviors. physical manifestation" of the organism. they are copied at the time of cell division or reproduction and are passed from one generation to the next ("inheritable").

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SS is straight and CS is wavy. you have straight hair. brown is dominant over blue so you end up with brown eyes. The way people write out dominant and recessive traits is the dominant one gets a capital letter and the recessive one a lower case letter. the brown version of the gene makes a pigment that turns your eye brown but the blue version does not make a blue pigment. if the blue version of the eye color gene made a pigment. or bb--BB and Bb have brown eyes. it makes no pigment and an eye without pigment is blue. What kind of hair do you have if you have a copy of each? Wavy. So for eye color. So. bb. Each of these versions contributes something so that you get a mixture of the two. Maybe ask the class what kind of hair they have and what genes that means they have. For example one copy may give you blue eyes while another may give you brown. As I said above. In our example here. people have two versions of each gene so you can be BB. There are two "hair type" genes.Each copy of the gene could be different. In terms of what to talk about in your class. what color are your eyes if you have both the brown and blue eye version of the eye color gene? Brown. Instead. This is where the idea of dominant and recessive comes in. blue eyes. You would write this out as CC is curly. One of the easiest to understand is hair. Bb. then you'd get some mix of brown and blue. In the eye color example above. Versions of genes are often dominant because the recessive version actually does nothing (click here to learn about other ways that gene versions can be dominant). If you have two copies of the curly version. As you can probably guess. brown is B and blue is b. the hair type example I discussed above is a pretty good one for incomplete dominance. There are some cases like this for people. curly and straight. you have curly hair and if you have two copies of straight hair version. Dominant means that one of the versions trumps the other. .

Dominant Trait in Humans Recessive Trait in Humans A blood type O blood type Abundant body hair Little body hair Astigmatism Normal vision B blood type O blood type Baldness (in male) Not bald Broad lips Thin lips Broad nose Narrow nose Dwarfism Normal growth Hazel or green eyes Blue or gray eyes High blood pressure Normal blood pressure Large eyes Small eyes Migraine Normal Mongolian Fold No fold in eyes . For example. Then. for a particular gene. say the ability to roll your tongue. but it sometimes is and makes it much easier to explain this way. One unexpected example is that the allele for dwarfism in humans is the dominant allele and the allele for normal growth is recessive. Our parents could posess any combination of these alleles: AA.Dominant and Recessive Genes In Humans As briefly referred to in the previous Genetics blog. Below is a table of dominant and recessive traits shown in humans. for each of our genes we posess two ‘alleles’. There can be many different alleles for one gene and it can be completely up to chance. the case. When speaking in general terms about dominant and recessive alleles. it is completely down to chance what we inherit from them. we tend to speak about genes as if for each of them there are two different alleles. One of these alleles in inherited from our father and one from our mother. This is not always. aa or Aa. what we inherit from our parents. We can call the dominant allele ‘R’ for being able to roll our tongue and the recessive allele ‘r’ for being unable to roll our tongue. or perhaps luck. or often. there is a dominant and a recessive gene. This means that if we inherited both of the different alleles for this gene we would show the dwarfism trait.

e.e.Nearsightedness Rh factor (+) Second toe longest Short stature Six fingers Webbed fingers Tone deafness White hair streak Normal vision No factor (Rh -) First or big toe longest Tall stature Five fingers normal Normal fingers Normal tone hearing Normal hair coloring When we are speaking about the inheritance of alleles and the genetic make-up of a person with respect to one gene. meaning that the two alleles an individual posesses for one gene are the same i. AA or aa. . The second is heterozygous. Aa. we use one of two phrases. meaning that the two alleles an individual posesses for one gene are different i. The first is homozygous.