Mendel's law of heredity explains how inherited traits are passed on from generation to
generation. Through out his life he devoted much of his time and effort in order to understand the
genetics of his pea plants. After many breeding experiments Mendel came across many findings
which lead to the formation of : The law of segregation and The law of independent assortment.
The law of segregation includes the notion of dominant and recessive genes. The outcome relies
heavily on mere chance and probability. ( The Punnett-Square method was used to help visualize
the possibilities.) The law of independent assortment says that an organisms individual traits are
passed in independently of one another. Mendel observed that ratios were not always exact but he
did not put aside these deviations. The tendency of the loci on the same chromosome to remain
linked together during meiosis and gametogenesis is referred to as linkage. Autosomal linkage :
the loci are on the same chromosome, affecting the phenotypic and genotypic ratios of the
offspring. Recombination can affect linkage by separating the two parental loci, this occurs during
Prophase I of Meiosis. In sex linked ( X linked ) inheritance, alleles on sex chromosomes are
inherited in predicable patterns. Sex linked inheritance refers to those few recessive genes that
reside on the X chromosome. ( Females XX, Males XY ) Since males only have one X
chromosome, there is nothing to suppress the activity of the gene. Therefore, the affected gene is
expressed. Polygenic inheritance involves multiple genes that encounter no environmental
influence. Through extensive research it was found that traits of a cross tended to be intermediate
in appearance between the two parents. An example would be when a tall person crosses with a
short person the result will be a child with height that falls between the heights of the parents. [continues]
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