Unit 4: Genetics

Content Standards:
Living systems store, retrieve, transmit and respond to information essential to life processes.
Students will know…
  • DNA and in some cases RNA is the primary source of heritable information.
  • In most eukaryotes is passed to the next generation by mitosis or meiosis plus fertilization.
  • Mendelian genetics provides a basic understanding of the underlying causes of the pattern traits from parent to offspring.
  • The inheritance of many traits cannot be explained by simple Mendelian genetics.
  • Cells can be activated, produce new products, and retain their activated state through gene regulation.
  • A variety of intercellular and intracellular signal transmissions mediate gene expression.
  • Changes in genotype can result in changes in phenotype.
  • Biological systems possess multiple mechanisms that increase genetic variation.
Students will be able to…
  • Construct scientific explanations and use data to justify that DNA, and in some cases RNA, is the primary source of heritable information.
  • Describe representations and models of how the cellular processes pass genetic information from generation to generation.
  • Describe representations and models by which genetic information is translated to the production of polypeptides
  • Describe how humans can modify heritable information.
  • Construct an explanation using representations with annotations how DNA in the form of chromosomes is transmitted to the next generation via mitosis and meiosis followed by fertilization.
  • Represent the connection between meiosis and increased genetic diversity necessary for evolution.
  • Evaluate data to support the claim that heritable information is passed from one generation to the next through mitosis or meiosis followed by fertilization.
  • Construct a representation that connects the passage of traits from parent to offspring to the process of meiosis.
  • Articulate reasons for the revisions to Mendel’s model of inheritance.
  • Construct an explanation of an ethical, social, or medical issue surrounding a human genetic disorder.
  • Evaluate evidence provided by data of Mendel’s model of inheritance of traits.
  • Evaluate alternative explanations for the inheritance of traits that cannot be explained by simple Mendelian genetics.
  • Describe representations of an appropriate example of inheritance patterns that cannot be explained by simple Mendelian genetics.
  • Use appropriate representations and examples to describe how inter- and intra-cellular signals affect gene expression.

Reading Assignments:
1 Meiosis p. 248-260
2 Intro to Genetics/ Mendel p. 261-270
3 Punnet Squares Complete problems 1-14
4 Codominance, etc. p. 271-285
5 Chromosome Mappingp. P. 286- 296
6 Genetic Disoders p. 297-304/ research

Lab Activities:
  1. Lab #3: Meiosis / Sordaria
  2. Lab #7: Drosophila
  3. Human Genetics / Karyotype
  4. Video/Questions: Lorenzo’s Oil


  • Watch this video of meiosis.

  • Here is a very quick comparison of mitosis and meiosis.

Mendelian Genetics

  • Mr. Anderson provides a good introduction to Genetics

  • Below is a link to an on-line simulation of Drosophila Genetics. The class code is .



  • This packet is a good reference for the steps in solving genetics problems.

  • Here are some practice problems.

  • If you want some extra practice in problem solving, this website is an excellent tutorial.



  • This is an excellent explanation of linked genes.

  • This video reviews linkage and also shows how on-line fruitfly lab works.

  • The Sordaria Lab shows how recombination frequencies can be used to determine distance from centromere (genetic mapping)

Genetic Disorders

  • Click on the link below for some additional practice problems in pedigree analysis


  • The movie "Lorenzo's Oil" is a remarkable story about one man's battle to find a cure for a rare genetic disorder. It ties together many topics we have studied including biochemistry, cells, genetics, scientific method, the use of models in solving problems and bioethical decisions in medical research. After watching the movie, use the background information to answer the questions. I have also included a copy of the actual research paper on the trial studies of Lorenzo's Oil

  • http://viooz.co/movies/4441-lorenzos-oil-1992.html

  • Read about some current research being done on ALD and related dispoders....

  • Choose a genetic disorder from this list and prepare a 5 minute report on the disorder. Make sure to try to include all the topics on the chart.