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Genetics 2016

Terms for Year 10 Genetics

Gene A section of a chromosome (or DNA ) which codes for a protein to produce a characteristic.
Chromosome A coiled up piece of DNA. Chromosomes are found in the nucleus of a cell.
D.N.A. (Deoxyribonucleic acid). Contains all an organism's genetic information. This molecule is what chromosomes are made of.
Alleles Alternative forms of a gene. There are often dominant and recessive alleles for the same gene.
Heterozygous A pair of alleles where there is a dominant and a recessive allele.
Homozygous A pair of alleles where either both genes are recessive or both genes are dominant.
Dominant A gene whose characteristic always appears even if only one copy is inherited.
Recessive A gene whose characteristic only appears if copies are inherited from both parents.
Mutation A ‘mistake’ in a gene or chromosome which usually occurs when it replicates.
Gamete These are reproductive cells. They contain half the number of chromosomes of a body cell. Animal gametes are egg and sperm, plant gametes are pollen and ovule.
Mitosis This type of cell division occurs in body cells. The chromosomes replicate so that the two new cells both have the same genetic composition as the original cell.
Meiosis This type of cell division produces gametes. The chromosomes divide so that each new cell has half the number of the original cell.
Genotype The combination of alleles that an individual has e.g. homozygous dominant, BB.
Phenotype The physical appearance of an individual as a result of their genotype.
Asexual reproduction This is reproduction with only one parent. The offspring are clones of their parent.
Sexual reproduction Reproduction where there are two parents and there is genetic recombination.
Continuous characteristic A characteristic which shows a continuous range in a population e.g height
Discontinuous (or discrete) characteristic A characteristic which has 2 possible outcomes e.g. tongue rolling
Nucleus The organelle in which genetic information is found within a cell.
Variation The difference between organisms
Karyotype A photo of the chromosomes in an organism, organised in pairs from longest to shortest