Bio 1 Cell Division and Basic Concepts in Mendelian Genetics

SD Jacinto Institute of Biology, UP Diliman

Two types of cell division
• Mitosis-equational division; the daughter cells produced are identical to the parent cell in terms of chromosomal content
– Takes place in all cells in the body (somatic or germ cell line) at one time or another

• Meiosis- reductional division; the daughter cells have half the number of chromosomes as the parent cell
– Takes place in germ cell line when they mature to produce gametes

History of Genetics
• In mid 1800's, most scientists believed that inheritance involved a blending of traits between the parents (including Darwin!) i.e. a tall crossed with a short pea would give peas intermediate in height.

www.science.siu.edu/.../ Meiosis&Genetics.html

• Gregor Mendel, a monk, born in Czechoslovakia who later attended the University of Vienna in Austria, worked with garden peas in 1860's. • He was experienced with crossing plants and animals to obtain desired traits. This process, called Artificial Selection, has given rise to the tremendous variety seen in food plants, such as beans. Mendel was the first to report the laws governing inheritance of these traits.

Mendel’s experiments

a. choice of peas was good: easy to grow and cross b. peas were cultivated and bred for a long time; lots of variations (mutations) to work with

c. peas are self pollinating and easy to pollinate by hand

d. used true breeding plants, i.e. ones that showed a constant trait when self-pollinated

e. Mendel followed the inheritance of each trait individually f. Mendel used statistics (probability) to interpret his results

(Parental) Green x Yellow ---> all Green (F1) (F1) Green X Green (self) -----> 3 Green for every 1 Yellow (F2) Mendel got a 3:1 ratio by counting the number of plants that were Green (428) vs. Yellow (152). 428/152 = 2.81:1 or essentially 3:1.

Mendelian terminologies
a) Dominant alleles (traits) are those that mask the expression of another allele (e.g. green color). Usually written in capital letter (here G, R, S, Z) - Appear all the time. b) Recessive allele (traits) are those that can be masked by a dominant allele (e.g. yellow color). Usually written in lower case letters (here g, r, s, z). - Disappear and reappear . a) and b) referred to as Mendel's principle of dominance. Mendel's results contradicted the popular theory of the day that traits blended.

Mendel's Law of Segregation
"Each organism contains two factors for each trait which separate during gamete formation so that each gamete contains only one factor. When fertilization occurs, the new organism will have two factors for each trait, one from each parent". Remember, Mendel knew virtually nothing about cytology (chromosomes) and meiosis. We now know his factors represent genes that occur on homologous chromosomes Homologous chromosomes segregate during meiosis I.

Modern Genetic Terminology to Explain Mendel's Results
• 1. Gene - units of hereditary material (DNA) present in the chromosome. • - It is a segment of DNA molecule • 2. Locus - the site occupied by a gene on a DNA molecule. • 3. Alleles - two or more forms of genes. • 4. Homozygous alleles- identical alleles for a specific character.

Modern Genetic Terminology to Explain Mendel's Results (contd)
• 5. Heterozygous alleles- non-identical alleles for a specific character. • True-breeding traits exist when the organism has two dominant alleles (e.g. TT) or two recessive alleles (tt). These organisms are termed homozygous for that gene or those alleles. • The F1 individuals above that resulted from a cross between tall and short pea plants have both a dominant (T) allele and a recessive (t) allele. These organisms are termed heterozygous for that gene or those alleles.

Modern Genetic Terminology to Explain Mendel's Results (cont’d)
• 6. Phenotype = the outward appearance of the organisms (i.e. the physical trait that we see, e.g. tallness). • 7. Genotype = the allelic complement of the organism, often represented by letters, e.g. the genotype TT is called the homozygous dominant condition, tt is the homozygous recessive, and Tt is the heterozygous condition.

Determination of plant traits
When looking at a plant that shows the dominant phenotype, how does one know whether it is homozygous or heterozygous for that trait? The two can be distinguished by conducting a Monohybrid Test Cross, which is a cross between an individual with a dominant phenotype with an individual with a recessive phenotype. By looking at the phenotypes of the offspring (F1), one can determine whether the parent was homozygous or heterozygous.

Two possible outcomes:
• All F1 the same as the parental dominant phenotype- then the parent was homozygous. ii) If only half show the dominant phenotype and half show the recessive phenotype, then the parent was heterozygous.

Dihybrid Cross
Matings of parents that differ in two independent traits. For example, one can look at round (R) vs. wrinkled (r) seeds and yellow (Y) vs. green (y) seeds. F1 progeny will all be heterozygous (RrYy) and will show the dominant traits of being round and yellow. When the F1 plant is selfed, four phenotypes for its progeny are seen in the following ratio: 9 roundyellow, 3 wrinkled-yellow, 3 round-green and 1 wrinkled-green (9:3:3:1).

These dihybrid crosses illustrate the principle of independent assortment - i.e. one gene pair segregates independently from another gene pair during meiosis.