Inheritance of Human Traits – Introduction
Some human traits are controlled by a single gene that has only two alternative alleles. If a characteristic is determined by the dominant allele, one or both parents express that trait and many of the children will as well. Dominant characteristics will most likely be present in every generation, since the expression of these traits requires only one of the dominant alleles in order to be expressed. If the characteristic is determined by the recessive allele, then neither parent may express the trait nor few of the children. This is because two copies of the recessive allele must be present in order for the recessive trait to be expressed. If a trait is X-linked recessive; meaning the gene for the trait is found on the X chromosome, it will be expressed primarily in males.
The application of human genotypes in medicine and genetic counseling is becoming more and more necessary as we discover more about the human genome. Despite our increasing ability to decipher the chromosomes and their genes, an accurate family history remains one of the best sources of information concerning the individual. In this exercise you will determine your genotype for certain characteristics that are controlled by a single gene with two alleles based on your phenotype. We will not be looking at any X-linked traits in this exercise.
Use the information about the traits of interest in the Unit 6 Experiment Answer Sheet to answer the questions found there.