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Muench - Heredity

Muench - Study of genetics

TermDefinition
allele An alternative form of a gene (one member of a pair) or code at a specific position on a specific chromosome; can be dominant or recessive. Offspring inherit one code from each parent.
gene The basic unit of heredity, segments of DNA with codes for production of specific proteins, which in turn are responsible for traits passed from parent to offspring. Found at specific locations on chromosomes.
chromosome Found in nucleus of each cell; contains the DNA molecule. In humans, this long molecule is divided into 23 pairs, for a total of 46.
dominant trait A trait that appears in offspring if one parent contributes it; masks a recessive trait. Usually represented by an upper-case letter.
recessive trait A trait that appears in offspring only if both parents contribute it; represented as a lower case of the corresponding dominant trait (aa).
trait Characteristics or attributes of an organism that are expressed by genes and/or influenced by the environment.
genotype The genetic makeup of an individual; can refer to an organism's entire genetic makeup or the specific alleles at a particular locus responsible for a trait.
phenotype The observable or detectable characteristics (traits) of an individual organism. The detectable expression of a genotype.
homozygous A genotype consisting of two identical alleles of a gene for a particular trait, whether dominant (AA) or recessive (aa).
heterozygous A genotype consisting of two different alleles of a gene for a particular trait (Aa).
heredity The passing of genetic factors from parent to offspring (or from one generation to the next).
sexual reproduction A form of reproduction in which TWO individuals produce a unique offspring having genetic characteristics from both parents.
asexual reproduction Reproduction in which offspring are genetically identical to a SINGLE parent.
gamete Cells that come together during fertilization or conception in organisms that reproduce sexually. Each consists of a single set of unpaired chromosomes – 23 in humans – half from mother and half from father. (Also known as sex cells or germ cells.)
DNA the molecule that holds the code for heredity; shaped like a twisted ladder (double-helix); comes apart like a zipper and can make copies of itself
Punnett Square a chart that shows the possible combinations of alleles in a genetic cross; calculates probability of genotypes
genome the complete genetic material of an individual
genetic code the ordering of "rungs on the ladder" of DNA that carries genetic information
mutation a change in the structure of DNA that creates a different trait that may be passed along to offspring
protein long molecule consisting of chains of organic compounds; essential for structure, function and regulation of cells
Created by: kmuench