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In this laboratory you will use coins to illustrate the assortment of alleles during meiosis and the variability that can be generated with sexual reproduction. This exercise will help you understand the basic concepts of genotype and phenotype and the impact of heterozygous vs. homozygous alleles in the Mendelian inheritance of traits. You will use coins to determine the genotypes and phenotypes of a simulated family to illustrate the variability that is possible via meiosis and random fertilization.
Through the work of geneticists, we have found that some simple genetic traits are controlled by genes that have two alleles. Remember, alleles are different versions of a gene. For example, suppose there is a gene that determines eye color, and there are different versions of this gene – the brown version (or brown allele) and a blue version (or blue allele). Sometimes we abbreviate alleles using single letters, such as “B” for the brown allele and “b” for the blue allele. An individual’s genotype is the combination of alleles the individual has, and the genotype determines his/her phenotype, or what characteristics the individual exhibits. Sometimes one allele can be dominant over another, sometimes alleles are codominant or incompletely dominant and show intermediate phenotypes.
Mendel’s Law of Segregation tells us that alleles separate during meiosis. If an individual inherited a “B” allele from mom and a “b” allele from dad, that individual’s genotype is Bb. When that individual makes gametes (eggs or sperm), he/she passes on either the “B” or the “b”, but not both because of the Law of Segregation. The table below shows the alleles, possible genotypes, and corresponding phenotypes for five simulated character traits. The Law of Independent Assortment tells us that each of these traits is inherited independently, because each will assort independent of the others.
The lab report will be completed on the attached file it is the Lab worksheet