1 UNIT THREE: GENETICS Chapter Thirteen: Meiosis and Sexual Life Cycles (Text from Biology, 6th Edition

, by Campbell and Reece)

Meiosis and Sexual Life Cycles (Chapter Thirteen)
The transmission of traits from one generation to the next is called inheritance, or heredity. Along with inherited similarity, there is also variation, variation which means that offspring vary somewhat from parents and siblings. Genetics is the scientific study of heredity and hereditary variation. AN INTRODUCTION TO HEREDITY Parents give their offspring coded information in the form of hereditary units called genes Genes are segments of DNA – inherited information genes. is passed on in the form of each gene’s specific sequence of nucleotides. Cells are then programmed to produce specific enzymes and other proteins to produce an organism’s inherited traits. Copies of genes can be passed along from parents to offspring. DNA of a eukaryotic cell is subdivided into chromosomes within the nucleus. In asexual reproduction a single individual is the sole parent and passes reproduction, copies of all its genes to its offspring. Single-celled eukaryotic organisms can reproduce asexually by mitotic division. The genomes of the offspring are then virtually exact copies of the parent genome. Some multicellular organisms are also capable of reproducing asexually. Individuals that reproduce asexually actually produce clones genetically identical individuals. Sexual reproduction on the other clones, reproduction, hand, results in greater variation, since two parents give rise to offspring with a unique combination of genes inherited from the two parents. THE ROLE OF MEIOSIS IN SEXUAL LIFE CYCLES A life cycl e is a generation-to-generation sequence of stages in the reproductive history of an cycle organism, from conception to production of its own offspring. In humans, each somatic cell (body cell) has 46 chromosomes. There are two of each type of chromosome. When they are arranged in pairs, the result is a karyotype The paired chromosomes are homologous chromosomes which carry karyotype. chromosomes, genes controlling the same inherited characteristics. An exception to the rule: the two sex chromosomes, which are XX in females and XY in males. Only small parts of the X and Y are homologous, because most of the genes carried on the X chromosome do not have counterparts on the Y. The X and Y chromosomes are called sex chromosomes while all the other chromosomes are called chromosomes, autosomes. autosomes One homologous chromosome is inherited from each parent. Sperm cells and ova are different from somatic cells in chromosome count. Each of these reproductive cells, or gametes has a single set of the 22 autosomes plus a single sex chromosome – they are gametes, haploid cells. Through sexual intercourse, a haploid sperm cell will merge with a haploid egg cell. The joining of gametes is called fertilization or synogamy The resulting fertilized egg, or zygote contains fertilization, synogamy. zygote, the two haploid sets of chromosomes bearing genes representing the maternal and paternal family

2 UNIT THREE: GENETICS Chapter Thirteen: Meiosis and Sexual Life Cycles (Text from Biology, 6th Edition, by Campbell and Reece) lines. The zygote and all other cells with two sets of chromosomes are called diploid cells Zygote cells. genes are then passed on by mitosis. The only cells of the human body not produced by mitosis are gametes. The process of division for haploid cells is meiosis which only occurs in the testes and meiosis, ovaries.

The Variety of Sexual Life Cycles
The human life cycle is characteristic of most animals, where gametes are the only haploid cells. Meiosis occurs in the production of gametes, which undergo no further cell division prior to fertilization. In most fungi and some protists, including some algae, a second type of life cycle occurs. After gametes fuse to form a diploid, meiosis occurs before offspring develop. This meiosis produces haploid cells that then divide by mitosis to give rise to a haploid multicellular adult organism. The haploid organism then produces gametes by mitosis, rather than meiosis, with the only diploid stage being the zygote. Plants and some species of algae exhibit a third type of life cycle called alternation of generations generations. This type includes both diploid and haploid multicellular stages. The multicellular diploid stage is called the sporophyte Mitosis in the sporophyte produces haploid cells called spores A spore gives rise a sporophyte. spores. multicellular individual without fusing with another cell. A spore will divide mitotically to generate a multicellular haploid stage called the gametophyte which makes gametes by mitosis. Fertilization gametophyte, results in a diploid zygote that will develop into the sporophyte generation.

3 UNIT THREE: GENETICS Chapter Thirteen: Meiosis and Sexual Life Cycles (Text from Biology, 6th Edition, by Campbell and Reece)

There are three key differences between mitosis and meiosis: 1. During prophase I of meiosis, homologues are paired up in the process of synapsis For part of synapsis. prophase I, a protein “zipper” called the synaptonemal complex holds the homologues tightly together. When the complex disappears in late prophase, the four closely associated chromatids are known as tetrads The X-shaped regions where crossing over occurs are called tetrads. chiasmata. chiasmata 2. At metaphase I of meiosis, homologous pairs are aligned on the metaphase plate. 3. At anaphase I of meiosis, sister chromatids do not separate, but two sister chromatids of each chromosome remain attached and go to the same cell. ORIGINS OF GENETIC VARIATION Sexual reproduction results in genetic variation through three mechanisms. Independent assortment allows for variety in the ways the four resulting cells can receive genetic information. This process occurs at both metaphase I and metaphase II, as the random orientation of chromosomes determines what chromatid each cell receives. Crossing over in prophase I produces recombinant chromosomes that combine genes from parental chromosomes. Random fertilization is the idea that any sperm could fertilize any egg.

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