Principal of inheritance and variation

Principal of inheritance and variation

Inheritance or Heredity is the genetic information passing for traits from parents to their offspring, either through asexual reproduction or sexual reproduction. This is the process by which an offspring cell or organism acquires or becomes predisposed to the characteristics of its parent cell or organism. Through heredity, variations exhibited by individuals can accumulate and cause some species to evolve through the natural selection of specific phenotype traits.

Variation refers to differences among organisms of the same species due to the differences in the genes they inherit and the environment they survive in.

Gregor Mendel, through his work on pea plants, discovered the fundamental laws of inheritance. He deduced that genes come in pairs and are inherited as distinct units, one from each parent. Mendel tracked the segregation of parental genes and their appearance in the offspring as dominant or recessive traits. He recognized the mathematical patterns of inheritance from one generation to the next. Mendel’s Laws of Heredity are usually stated as:

1) The Law of Segregation: Each inherited trait is defined by a gene pair. Parental genes are randomly separated to the sex cells so that sex cells contain only one gene of the pair. Offspring therefore inherit one genetic allele from each parent when sex cells unite in fertilization.

2) The Law of Independent Assortment: Genes for different traits are sorted separately from one another so that the inheritance of one trait is not dependent on the inheritance of another.

3) The Law of Dominance: An organism with alternate forms of a gene will express the form that is dominant.

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