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5.0 Unit 5 Overview: Heredity




⏱️  1 min read

written by

Caroline Koffke

caroline koffke

June 22, 2020

Heredity is the concept of passing genes on from generation to generation. This starts with the creation of gametes, or sex cells, through cellular division called meiosis.

The variation created by the process of meiosis leads to an infinite amount of variation in the living things on earth. This variation is the key to life and the continued success of all species.  Heredity was first described by Gregor Mendel who discovered simple rules of inheritance that we still use today. While many traits do not fit these rules, his work still provides a foundation that we can use to analyze the inheritance of genes between generations.

The environment can also play a role in which traits become more frequent in a population. If one phenotype gives individuals a higher chance of survival and reproduction, this trait will be more common in the population than the others.

Key Terms

  • Meiosis

  • Diploid

  • Haploid

  • Gamete

  • Chromosome

  • Homologous chromosome

  • Sister chromatid

  • Genetic variation

  • Crossing over

  • Random fertilization

  • Independent assortment

  • Zygote

  • Law of segregation

  • Laws of probability

  • Genotype

  • Phenotype

  • Allele

  • Gene

  • Sex-linked

  • Pedigree

  • Nondisjunction

  • Mutation

  • Mitochondria

  • Chloroplast

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