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Basic Concepts of Heredity
Next Generation: HS.LS3.2 HS.LS3.2

Basic Concepts of Heredity

Description:

This lesson will introduce several basic genetic terms as well as examine some basic concepts of heredity.

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Tutorial
Terms to Know
Allele

Variation in a gene, an example would be eye color; there is a gene for eye color but there are different versions of genes that allow for different eye colors.

Dominant Alleles

When one allele masks the expression of another on the same locus, this is seen at the phenotype level.

Gene

A genetic unit of heredity; a specific section of DNA that codes for a specific protein.

Genotype

A trait or characteristic expressed at the genetic level, that is, the genetic makeup of an organism.

Gregor Mendel

Dubbed the "father of modern genetics" and arguably modern biology, Mendel was an Austrian monk who studied heredity and inheritance in plants.

Heredity

The passing of traits from parents to offspring.

Heterozygous

An organism with two different alleles of a gene.

Homozygous

An organism with two identical alleles of a gene.

Inheritance

Receiving genetic characteristics from parents, the manner in which genes are passed down to offspring.

Locus

The term used to describe the specific location of a gene/DNA sequence on a chromosome; variations of these genes are referred to as alleles.

Phenotype

An observable characteristic of someone’s traits, examples: eye color, skin color, height, gender etc.

Recessive Allele

An allele that is masked by a dominant allele, recessive alleles are only expressed when they are found in homozygous pairs.