Introduction to Genetic Analysis 29

Introduction to Genetic Analysis 29 - 28 Chapter 2 Patterns...

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Unformatted text preview: 28 Chapter 2 Patterns of Inheritance CHAPTER OVERVIEW M ost of genetics is based on hereditary variation. In Chapter 1 we saw that within a species individuals may vary in their characteristics. Even though the mem- bers of a species share most of the attributes of that species, there are often differences that allow us to tell individuals apart. Differences can involve any property, such as eye color, body size, shape, disease, or behavior. The differing individuals are called variants. Genetic analysis commonly begins with at least two such vari- ants. In the prototypic genetic analysis carried out by Gregor Mendel, described in this chapter, the two vari- ants were purple- and white-flowered pea plants. In any given case of variation, a crucial step is to de- cide whether or not the observed variation is hereditary. A corollary issue is the genetic basis for the inheritance. As part of the latter question we need to know the num- ber of genes involved, and how they are passed on...
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