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Lab Exercise: Principles of Inheritance

Introduction
Gametes are formed by cells in reproductive organs through the process of meiosis. Prior
to meiosis, the chromosomes of the parent cell replicate. The cell then divides twice to form four
gametes. Each gamete receives only one of each chromosome pair and so contains half the
number of chromosomes found in the parent cell. The number of chromosomes is restored when
two gametes unite during fertilization. The fertilized egg (zygote) contains a complete set of
paired chromosomes. One chromosome of each pair was present in the egg and so was inherited
from the female parent. Genes are located on chromosomes so half the genetic make-up of the
offspring comes from the male parent and half from the female parent.
1. A cross of two homozygous varieties of pea plants
Use the toothpicks found in the lab supplies. Each toothpick represents a chromosome.
The colors of the toothpicks represent the various alleles of the gene. The gene we are
interested in is the gene for flower color. Choose one color to represent the dominant allele
(referred to as color 1) and a second color to represent the recessive allele (referred to as color
2).

Using the Toothpick Template (last page of the


assignment) place two toothpicks of color 1 in the
space labeled male parent. Together these
toothpicks represent a pair of chromosomes.

Place two toothpicks of color 2 in the space labeled


female parent.

When the male produces gametes by meiosis, half the gametes formed will receive one of the
chromosomes of the pair and half will receive the
other chromosome

Move one of the chromosomes from the male


parent to the space labeled male gamete 1
and move the other to the space labeled male
gamete 2.

Similarly move the chromosomes from the


female parent to the female gamete spaces.

During fertilization, every sperm cell has an equal probability of fertilizing every egg cell. In
other words, male gamete 1 might fertilize female gamete 1 or it might fertilize female gamete
2. The same is true for male gamete 2. Thus, there are four possible combinations of gametes
and each combination will occur about one-fourth (25%) of the time.

Look at male gamete 1 and female gamete 1. Place a toothpick the same color as in male
gamete 1 in the space labeled offspring 1. Place a toothpick the same color as in female
gamete 1 in the same offspring space. This shows what alleles one of the four possible
offspring could have.
Repeat the process for male gamete 1 and female gamete 2 for the second offspring
Repeat the process for male gamete 2 and female gamete 1 for the third offspring
Repeat the process for male gamete 2 and female gamete 2 for the fourth offspring

Answer questions 1a-c in the worksheet


Let A = color 1 (dominant) and a = color 2
(recessive).

2.

Punnett Squares

The same cross can be done using a Punnett square. Alleles are represented by letters
instead of colored toothpicks. The female gametes are placed along the top and the male
gametes are placed along the side. The squares represent the possible combinations of male
and female gametes when fertilization occurs.

Assign a letter for each allele (capital for dominant alleles, lower case for recessive alleles)
Purple flowers are dominant over white flowers.
Purple flowers allele = _______, white flowers allele = __________

Cross: Homozygous purple flowers X homozygous white flowers

Write the parents genotypes (two letters each) __________

Determine the gametes based on the parents genotypes (one letter for each gamete)
Gametes
dad: ____ and _____
mom: ____ and _____

___________

Fill in the punnett square in the worksheet (place gamete letters in the squares labeled male
gamete and female gamete) and determine the genotype and phenotype ratios of the
offspring.

3.

A cross of two hybrid (heterozygous) varieties of pea plants.

The offspring produced in #1 represent the F 1 generation of a monohybrid cross. If the F1


are allowed to self-pollinate, they will produce the F 2 generation.

Repeat the procedure from #1


with toothpicks, but this time use
the F1 offspring as the parents
(both have one color 1 and one
color 2 toothpicks).

Answer questions 3a-b in the worksheet.

4.

Use a Punnett square to represent the cross in #3.

Assign a letter for each allele (capital for dominant alleles, lower case for recessive alleles)
Purple flowers are dominant over white flowers.
Purple flowers allele = _______, white flowers allele = __________

Cross: Heterozygous purple flowers X heterozygous purple flowers

Write the parents genotypes __________

Determine the gametes based on the parents genotypes


Gametes
dad: ____ and _____
mom: ____ and _____

___________

Fill in the punnett square in the worksheet (place gamete letters in the squares labeled male
gamete and female gamete) and determine the genotype and phenotype ratios of the
offspring.

5.

Punnett square practice problems (fill in the Punnet squares and answer the

questions in the worksheet)


5A. Round seeds are dominant over wrinkled seeds.
Round seed allele = _______, wrinkled seed allele = __________
Cross: Homozygous round seeds X homozygous wrinkled seeds
a. Parents genotypes __________

_____________

b. Gametes dad: ____ and _____


mom: ____ and _____
Fill in the Punnett square in the worksheet and determine the genotype and phenotype
ratios of the offspring.

5B. Green pods are dominant over yellow pods.


Green pod allele = _______, yellow pod allele = ________
Cross: heterozygous pods X heterozygous pods
a. Parents genotypes __________

b. Gametes dad: ____ and _____

_____________
mom: ____ and _____

Fill in the Punnett square in the worksheet and determine the genotype and phenotype
ratios of the offspring.

5C. Black fur is dominant over white fur in guinea pigs.


Black fur allele = _______, white fur allele = ________
Cross: Heterozygous X Homozygous white
a. Parents genotypes __________

_____________

b. Gametes dad: ____ and _____


mom: ____ and _____
Fill in the Punnett square in the worksheet and determine the genotype and phenotype
ratios of the offspring.

Toothpick Template
Male Parent

Female Parent

MEIOSIS
each gamete receives one chromosome

Male Gametes
1

Female Gametes

FERTILIZATION
Offspring