NCERT Textbook - Principles of Inheritance and Evolution NEET Notes | EduRev

NCERT Textbooks (Class 6 to Class 12)

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NEET : NCERT Textbook - Principles of Inheritance and Evolution NEET Notes | EduRev

 Page 1


CHAPTER 5
Have you ever wondered why an elephant always gives
birth only to a baby elephant and not some other animal?
Or why a mango seed forms only a mango plant and not
any other plant?
Given that they do, are the offspring identical to their
parents? Or do they show differences in some of their
characteristics? Have you ever wondered why siblings
sometimes look so similar to each other? Or sometimes
even so different?
These and several related questions are dealt with,
scientifically, in a branch of biology known as Genetics.
This subject deals with the inheritance, as well as the
variation of characters from parents to offspring.
Inheritance is the process by which characters are passed
on from parent to progeny; it is the basis of heredity.
Variation is the degree by which progeny differ from their
parents.
Humans knew from as early as 8000-1000 B.C. that
one of the causes of variation was hidden in sexual
reproduction. They exploited the variations that were
naturally present in the wild populations of plants and
animals to selectively breed and select for organisms that
possessed desirable characters. For example, through
artificial selection and domestication from ancestral
PRINCIPLES OF INHERITANCE
AND VARIATION
5.1 Mendel’s Laws of
Inheritance
5.2 Inheritance of One Gene
5.3 Inheritance of Two Genes
5.4 Sex Determination
5.5 Mutation
5.6 Genetic Disorders
Page 2


CHAPTER 5
Have you ever wondered why an elephant always gives
birth only to a baby elephant and not some other animal?
Or why a mango seed forms only a mango plant and not
any other plant?
Given that they do, are the offspring identical to their
parents? Or do they show differences in some of their
characteristics? Have you ever wondered why siblings
sometimes look so similar to each other? Or sometimes
even so different?
These and several related questions are dealt with,
scientifically, in a branch of biology known as Genetics.
This subject deals with the inheritance, as well as the
variation of characters from parents to offspring.
Inheritance is the process by which characters are passed
on from parent to progeny; it is the basis of heredity.
Variation is the degree by which progeny differ from their
parents.
Humans knew from as early as 8000-1000 B.C. that
one of the causes of variation was hidden in sexual
reproduction. They exploited the variations that were
naturally present in the wild populations of plants and
animals to selectively breed and select for organisms that
possessed desirable characters. For example, through
artificial selection and domestication from ancestral
PRINCIPLES OF INHERITANCE
AND VARIATION
5.1 Mendel’s Laws of
Inheritance
5.2 Inheritance of One Gene
5.3 Inheritance of Two Genes
5.4 Sex Determination
5.5 Mutation
5.6 Genetic Disorders
70
BIOLOGY
wild cows, we have well-known Indian
breeds, e.g., Sahiwal cows in Punjab. We
must, however, recognise that though our
ancestors knew about the inheritance of
characters and variation, they had very
little idea about the scientific basis of these
phenomena.
5.1 MENDEL’S LAWS OF INHERITANCE
It was during the mid-nineteenth century that
headway was made in the understanding of
inheritance. Gregor Mendel, conducted
hybridisation experiments on garden peas for
seven years (1856-1863) and proposed the
laws of inheritance in living organisms. During
Mendel’s investigations into inheritance
patterns it was for the first time that statistical
analysis and mathematical logic were applied
to problems in biology. His experiments had a
large sampling size, which gave greater
credibility to the data that he collected. Also,
the confirmation of his inferences from
experiments on successive generations of his
test plants, proved that his results pointed to
general rules of inheritance rather than being
unsubstantiated ideas. Mendel investigated
characters in the garden pea plant that were
manifested as two opposing traits, e.g., tall or
dwarf plants, yellow or green seeds. This
allowed him to set up a basic framework of
rules governing inheritance, which was
expanded on by later scientists to account for
all the diverse natural observations and the
complexity inherent in them.
Mendel conducted such artificial
pollination/cross pollination experiments
using several  true-breeding pea lines. A true-
breeding line is one that, having undergone
continuous self-pollination, shows the stable trait inheritance and
expression for several generations. Mendel selected 14 true-breeding pea
plant varieties, as pairs which were similar except for one character with
contrasting traits. Some of the contrasting traits selected were smooth or
wrinkled seeds, yellow or green seeds, smooth or inflated pods, green or
yellow pods and tall or dwarf plants (Figure 5.1, Table 5.1).
Figure 5.1 Seven pairs of contrasting traits in
pea plant studied by Mendel
Page 3


CHAPTER 5
Have you ever wondered why an elephant always gives
birth only to a baby elephant and not some other animal?
Or why a mango seed forms only a mango plant and not
any other plant?
Given that they do, are the offspring identical to their
parents? Or do they show differences in some of their
characteristics? Have you ever wondered why siblings
sometimes look so similar to each other? Or sometimes
even so different?
These and several related questions are dealt with,
scientifically, in a branch of biology known as Genetics.
This subject deals with the inheritance, as well as the
variation of characters from parents to offspring.
Inheritance is the process by which characters are passed
on from parent to progeny; it is the basis of heredity.
Variation is the degree by which progeny differ from their
parents.
Humans knew from as early as 8000-1000 B.C. that
one of the causes of variation was hidden in sexual
reproduction. They exploited the variations that were
naturally present in the wild populations of plants and
animals to selectively breed and select for organisms that
possessed desirable characters. For example, through
artificial selection and domestication from ancestral
PRINCIPLES OF INHERITANCE
AND VARIATION
5.1 Mendel’s Laws of
Inheritance
5.2 Inheritance of One Gene
5.3 Inheritance of Two Genes
5.4 Sex Determination
5.5 Mutation
5.6 Genetic Disorders
70
BIOLOGY
wild cows, we have well-known Indian
breeds, e.g., Sahiwal cows in Punjab. We
must, however, recognise that though our
ancestors knew about the inheritance of
characters and variation, they had very
little idea about the scientific basis of these
phenomena.
5.1 MENDEL’S LAWS OF INHERITANCE
It was during the mid-nineteenth century that
headway was made in the understanding of
inheritance. Gregor Mendel, conducted
hybridisation experiments on garden peas for
seven years (1856-1863) and proposed the
laws of inheritance in living organisms. During
Mendel’s investigations into inheritance
patterns it was for the first time that statistical
analysis and mathematical logic were applied
to problems in biology. His experiments had a
large sampling size, which gave greater
credibility to the data that he collected. Also,
the confirmation of his inferences from
experiments on successive generations of his
test plants, proved that his results pointed to
general rules of inheritance rather than being
unsubstantiated ideas. Mendel investigated
characters in the garden pea plant that were
manifested as two opposing traits, e.g., tall or
dwarf plants, yellow or green seeds. This
allowed him to set up a basic framework of
rules governing inheritance, which was
expanded on by later scientists to account for
all the diverse natural observations and the
complexity inherent in them.
Mendel conducted such artificial
pollination/cross pollination experiments
using several  true-breeding pea lines. A true-
breeding line is one that, having undergone
continuous self-pollination, shows the stable trait inheritance and
expression for several generations. Mendel selected 14 true-breeding pea
plant varieties, as pairs which were similar except for one character with
contrasting traits. Some of the contrasting traits selected were smooth or
wrinkled seeds, yellow or green seeds, smooth or inflated pods, green or
yellow pods and tall or dwarf plants (Figure 5.1, Table 5.1).
Figure 5.1 Seven pairs of contrasting traits in
pea plant studied by Mendel
71
PRINCIPLES OF INHERITANCE AND VARIATION
5.2 INHERITANCE OF ONE GENE
Let us take the example of one such
hybridisation experiment carried out by
Mendel where he crossed tall and dwarf pea
plants to study the inheritance of one gene
(Figure 5.2). He collected the seeds produced
as a result of this cross and grew them to
generate plants of the first hybrid generation.
This generation is also called the Filial
1
progeny or the F
1
. Mendel observed that all
the F
1 
 progeny  plants were tall, like one of
its parents; none were dwarf (Figure 15.3).
He made similar observations for the other
pairs of traits – he found that the F
1 
 always
resembled either one of the parents, and that
the trait of the other parent was not seen in
them.
Mendel then self-pollinated the tall F
1
plants and to his surprise found  that in the
Filial
2
 generation some of the offspring were
‘dwarf’; the character that was not seen in
the F
1
 generation was now expressed. The
proportion of plants that were dwarf were
1/4
th
 of the F
2
 plants while 3/4
th
 of the F
2
 plants were tall. The tall and
dwarf traits were identical to their parental type and did not show any
blending, that is all the offspring were either tall or dwarf, none were of in-
between height (Figure 5.3).
Similar results were obtained with the other traits that he studied:
only one of the parental traits was expressed in the F
1
 generation while at
the F
2
 stage both the traits were expressed in the proportion 3:1. The
contrasting traits did not show any blending at either F
1
 or F
2
 stage.
Figure 5.2 Steps in making a cross in pea
Table 5.1: Contrasting Traits Studied by
Mendel in Pea
S.No. Characters Contrasting Traits
1. Stem height Tall/dwarf
2. Flower colour Violet/white
3. Flower position Axial/terminal
4. Pod shape Inflated/constricted
5. Pod colour Green/yellow
6. Seed shape Round/wrinkled
7. Seed colour Yellow/green
Page 4


CHAPTER 5
Have you ever wondered why an elephant always gives
birth only to a baby elephant and not some other animal?
Or why a mango seed forms only a mango plant and not
any other plant?
Given that they do, are the offspring identical to their
parents? Or do they show differences in some of their
characteristics? Have you ever wondered why siblings
sometimes look so similar to each other? Or sometimes
even so different?
These and several related questions are dealt with,
scientifically, in a branch of biology known as Genetics.
This subject deals with the inheritance, as well as the
variation of characters from parents to offspring.
Inheritance is the process by which characters are passed
on from parent to progeny; it is the basis of heredity.
Variation is the degree by which progeny differ from their
parents.
Humans knew from as early as 8000-1000 B.C. that
one of the causes of variation was hidden in sexual
reproduction. They exploited the variations that were
naturally present in the wild populations of plants and
animals to selectively breed and select for organisms that
possessed desirable characters. For example, through
artificial selection and domestication from ancestral
PRINCIPLES OF INHERITANCE
AND VARIATION
5.1 Mendel’s Laws of
Inheritance
5.2 Inheritance of One Gene
5.3 Inheritance of Two Genes
5.4 Sex Determination
5.5 Mutation
5.6 Genetic Disorders
70
BIOLOGY
wild cows, we have well-known Indian
breeds, e.g., Sahiwal cows in Punjab. We
must, however, recognise that though our
ancestors knew about the inheritance of
characters and variation, they had very
little idea about the scientific basis of these
phenomena.
5.1 MENDEL’S LAWS OF INHERITANCE
It was during the mid-nineteenth century that
headway was made in the understanding of
inheritance. Gregor Mendel, conducted
hybridisation experiments on garden peas for
seven years (1856-1863) and proposed the
laws of inheritance in living organisms. During
Mendel’s investigations into inheritance
patterns it was for the first time that statistical
analysis and mathematical logic were applied
to problems in biology. His experiments had a
large sampling size, which gave greater
credibility to the data that he collected. Also,
the confirmation of his inferences from
experiments on successive generations of his
test plants, proved that his results pointed to
general rules of inheritance rather than being
unsubstantiated ideas. Mendel investigated
characters in the garden pea plant that were
manifested as two opposing traits, e.g., tall or
dwarf plants, yellow or green seeds. This
allowed him to set up a basic framework of
rules governing inheritance, which was
expanded on by later scientists to account for
all the diverse natural observations and the
complexity inherent in them.
Mendel conducted such artificial
pollination/cross pollination experiments
using several  true-breeding pea lines. A true-
breeding line is one that, having undergone
continuous self-pollination, shows the stable trait inheritance and
expression for several generations. Mendel selected 14 true-breeding pea
plant varieties, as pairs which were similar except for one character with
contrasting traits. Some of the contrasting traits selected were smooth or
wrinkled seeds, yellow or green seeds, smooth or inflated pods, green or
yellow pods and tall or dwarf plants (Figure 5.1, Table 5.1).
Figure 5.1 Seven pairs of contrasting traits in
pea plant studied by Mendel
71
PRINCIPLES OF INHERITANCE AND VARIATION
5.2 INHERITANCE OF ONE GENE
Let us take the example of one such
hybridisation experiment carried out by
Mendel where he crossed tall and dwarf pea
plants to study the inheritance of one gene
(Figure 5.2). He collected the seeds produced
as a result of this cross and grew them to
generate plants of the first hybrid generation.
This generation is also called the Filial
1
progeny or the F
1
. Mendel observed that all
the F
1 
 progeny  plants were tall, like one of
its parents; none were dwarf (Figure 15.3).
He made similar observations for the other
pairs of traits – he found that the F
1 
 always
resembled either one of the parents, and that
the trait of the other parent was not seen in
them.
Mendel then self-pollinated the tall F
1
plants and to his surprise found  that in the
Filial
2
 generation some of the offspring were
‘dwarf’; the character that was not seen in
the F
1
 generation was now expressed. The
proportion of plants that were dwarf were
1/4
th
 of the F
2
 plants while 3/4
th
 of the F
2
 plants were tall. The tall and
dwarf traits were identical to their parental type and did not show any
blending, that is all the offspring were either tall or dwarf, none were of in-
between height (Figure 5.3).
Similar results were obtained with the other traits that he studied:
only one of the parental traits was expressed in the F
1
 generation while at
the F
2
 stage both the traits were expressed in the proportion 3:1. The
contrasting traits did not show any blending at either F
1
 or F
2
 stage.
Figure 5.2 Steps in making a cross in pea
Table 5.1: Contrasting Traits Studied by
Mendel in Pea
S.No. Characters Contrasting Traits
1. Stem height Tall/dwarf
2. Flower colour Violet/white
3. Flower position Axial/terminal
4. Pod shape Inflated/constricted
5. Pod colour Green/yellow
6. Seed shape Round/wrinkled
7. Seed colour Yellow/green
72
BIOLOGY
Based on these observations,
Mendel proposed that something
was being stably passed down,
unchanged, from parent to offspring
through the gametes, over
successive generations. He called
these things as ‘factors’. Nowadays,
we call them as genes. Genes,
therefore, are the units of
inheritance. They contain the
information that is required to
express a particular trait, in an
organism. Genes which code for a
pair of contrasting traits are known
as alleles, i.e., they are slightly
different forms of the same gene.
If we use  alphabetical symbols
for each gene, then the capital letter
is used for the trait expressed at the
F
1
 stage and the small alphabet for
the other trait. For example, in case
of the character of height, T is used
for the Tall trait and t for the ‘dwarf’,
and T and t are alleles of each other.
Hence, in plants the pair of alleles
for height would be TT, Tt or tt.
Mendel also proposed that in a true
breeding, tall or dwarf pea variety
the allelic pair of genes for height are
identical or homozygous, TT and tt, respectively. TT and tt are called
the genotype of the plant while the descriptive terms tall and dwarf are
the phenotype. What then would be the phenotype of a plant that had
a genotype Tt?
As Mendel found the phenotype of the F
1 
heterozygote Tt to be exactly
like the TT parent in appearance, he proposed that in a pair of dissimilar
factors, one dominates the other (as in the F
1 
) and hence is called the
dominant factor while the other factor is recessive . In this case T (for
tallness) is dominant over t (for dwarfness), that is recessive. He observed
identical behaviour for all the other characters/trait-pairs that he studied.
It is convenient (and logical) to use the capital and lower case of an
alphabetical symbol to remember this concept of dominance and
recessiveness. (Do not use T for tall and d for dwarf because you will
find it difficult to remember whether T and d are alleles of the same
gene/character or not). Alleles can be similar as in the case of homozygotes
TT and tt or can be dissimilar as in the case of the heterozygote Tt. Since
Figure 5.3 Diagrammatic representation
of monohybrid cross
Page 5


CHAPTER 5
Have you ever wondered why an elephant always gives
birth only to a baby elephant and not some other animal?
Or why a mango seed forms only a mango plant and not
any other plant?
Given that they do, are the offspring identical to their
parents? Or do they show differences in some of their
characteristics? Have you ever wondered why siblings
sometimes look so similar to each other? Or sometimes
even so different?
These and several related questions are dealt with,
scientifically, in a branch of biology known as Genetics.
This subject deals with the inheritance, as well as the
variation of characters from parents to offspring.
Inheritance is the process by which characters are passed
on from parent to progeny; it is the basis of heredity.
Variation is the degree by which progeny differ from their
parents.
Humans knew from as early as 8000-1000 B.C. that
one of the causes of variation was hidden in sexual
reproduction. They exploited the variations that were
naturally present in the wild populations of plants and
animals to selectively breed and select for organisms that
possessed desirable characters. For example, through
artificial selection and domestication from ancestral
PRINCIPLES OF INHERITANCE
AND VARIATION
5.1 Mendel’s Laws of
Inheritance
5.2 Inheritance of One Gene
5.3 Inheritance of Two Genes
5.4 Sex Determination
5.5 Mutation
5.6 Genetic Disorders
70
BIOLOGY
wild cows, we have well-known Indian
breeds, e.g., Sahiwal cows in Punjab. We
must, however, recognise that though our
ancestors knew about the inheritance of
characters and variation, they had very
little idea about the scientific basis of these
phenomena.
5.1 MENDEL’S LAWS OF INHERITANCE
It was during the mid-nineteenth century that
headway was made in the understanding of
inheritance. Gregor Mendel, conducted
hybridisation experiments on garden peas for
seven years (1856-1863) and proposed the
laws of inheritance in living organisms. During
Mendel’s investigations into inheritance
patterns it was for the first time that statistical
analysis and mathematical logic were applied
to problems in biology. His experiments had a
large sampling size, which gave greater
credibility to the data that he collected. Also,
the confirmation of his inferences from
experiments on successive generations of his
test plants, proved that his results pointed to
general rules of inheritance rather than being
unsubstantiated ideas. Mendel investigated
characters in the garden pea plant that were
manifested as two opposing traits, e.g., tall or
dwarf plants, yellow or green seeds. This
allowed him to set up a basic framework of
rules governing inheritance, which was
expanded on by later scientists to account for
all the diverse natural observations and the
complexity inherent in them.
Mendel conducted such artificial
pollination/cross pollination experiments
using several  true-breeding pea lines. A true-
breeding line is one that, having undergone
continuous self-pollination, shows the stable trait inheritance and
expression for several generations. Mendel selected 14 true-breeding pea
plant varieties, as pairs which were similar except for one character with
contrasting traits. Some of the contrasting traits selected were smooth or
wrinkled seeds, yellow or green seeds, smooth or inflated pods, green or
yellow pods and tall or dwarf plants (Figure 5.1, Table 5.1).
Figure 5.1 Seven pairs of contrasting traits in
pea plant studied by Mendel
71
PRINCIPLES OF INHERITANCE AND VARIATION
5.2 INHERITANCE OF ONE GENE
Let us take the example of one such
hybridisation experiment carried out by
Mendel where he crossed tall and dwarf pea
plants to study the inheritance of one gene
(Figure 5.2). He collected the seeds produced
as a result of this cross and grew them to
generate plants of the first hybrid generation.
This generation is also called the Filial
1
progeny or the F
1
. Mendel observed that all
the F
1 
 progeny  plants were tall, like one of
its parents; none were dwarf (Figure 15.3).
He made similar observations for the other
pairs of traits – he found that the F
1 
 always
resembled either one of the parents, and that
the trait of the other parent was not seen in
them.
Mendel then self-pollinated the tall F
1
plants and to his surprise found  that in the
Filial
2
 generation some of the offspring were
‘dwarf’; the character that was not seen in
the F
1
 generation was now expressed. The
proportion of plants that were dwarf were
1/4
th
 of the F
2
 plants while 3/4
th
 of the F
2
 plants were tall. The tall and
dwarf traits were identical to their parental type and did not show any
blending, that is all the offspring were either tall or dwarf, none were of in-
between height (Figure 5.3).
Similar results were obtained with the other traits that he studied:
only one of the parental traits was expressed in the F
1
 generation while at
the F
2
 stage both the traits were expressed in the proportion 3:1. The
contrasting traits did not show any blending at either F
1
 or F
2
 stage.
Figure 5.2 Steps in making a cross in pea
Table 5.1: Contrasting Traits Studied by
Mendel in Pea
S.No. Characters Contrasting Traits
1. Stem height Tall/dwarf
2. Flower colour Violet/white
3. Flower position Axial/terminal
4. Pod shape Inflated/constricted
5. Pod colour Green/yellow
6. Seed shape Round/wrinkled
7. Seed colour Yellow/green
72
BIOLOGY
Based on these observations,
Mendel proposed that something
was being stably passed down,
unchanged, from parent to offspring
through the gametes, over
successive generations. He called
these things as ‘factors’. Nowadays,
we call them as genes. Genes,
therefore, are the units of
inheritance. They contain the
information that is required to
express a particular trait, in an
organism. Genes which code for a
pair of contrasting traits are known
as alleles, i.e., they are slightly
different forms of the same gene.
If we use  alphabetical symbols
for each gene, then the capital letter
is used for the trait expressed at the
F
1
 stage and the small alphabet for
the other trait. For example, in case
of the character of height, T is used
for the Tall trait and t for the ‘dwarf’,
and T and t are alleles of each other.
Hence, in plants the pair of alleles
for height would be TT, Tt or tt.
Mendel also proposed that in a true
breeding, tall or dwarf pea variety
the allelic pair of genes for height are
identical or homozygous, TT and tt, respectively. TT and tt are called
the genotype of the plant while the descriptive terms tall and dwarf are
the phenotype. What then would be the phenotype of a plant that had
a genotype Tt?
As Mendel found the phenotype of the F
1 
heterozygote Tt to be exactly
like the TT parent in appearance, he proposed that in a pair of dissimilar
factors, one dominates the other (as in the F
1 
) and hence is called the
dominant factor while the other factor is recessive . In this case T (for
tallness) is dominant over t (for dwarfness), that is recessive. He observed
identical behaviour for all the other characters/trait-pairs that he studied.
It is convenient (and logical) to use the capital and lower case of an
alphabetical symbol to remember this concept of dominance and
recessiveness. (Do not use T for tall and d for dwarf because you will
find it difficult to remember whether T and d are alleles of the same
gene/character or not). Alleles can be similar as in the case of homozygotes
TT and tt or can be dissimilar as in the case of the heterozygote Tt. Since
Figure 5.3 Diagrammatic representation
of monohybrid cross
73
PRINCIPLES OF INHERITANCE AND VARIATION
the Tt plant is heterozygous for genes controlling
one character (height), it is a monohybrid and the
cross between TT and tt is a monohybrid cross.
From the observation that the recessive parental
trait is expressed without any blending in the F
2
generation, we can infer that, when the tall and
dwarf plant produce gametes, by the process of
meiosis, the alleles of the parental pair separate or
segregate from each other and only one allele is
transmitted to a gamete. This segregation of alleles
is a random process and so there is a 50 per cent
chance of a gamete containing either allele, as has
been verified by the results of the crossings. In this
way the gametes of the tall TT plants have the allele
T and the gametes of the dwarf tt plants have the
allele t. During fertilisation the two alleles, T from
one parent say, through the pollen, and t from the
other parent, then through the egg, are united to
produce zygotes that have one T allele and one t
allele.  In other words the hybrids have Tt. Since
these hybrids contain alleles which express
contrasting traits, the plants are heterozygous. The
production of gametes by the parents, the formation
of the zygotes, the F
1
 and F
2
 plants can be
understood from a diagram called Punnett Square
as shown in Figure 5.4. It was developed by a British
geneticist, Reginald C. Punnett. It is a graphical
representation to calculate the probability of all
possible genotypes of offspring in a genetic cross.
The possible gametes are written on two sides,
usually the top row and left columns. All  possible
combinations are represented in boxes below in the
squares, which generates a square output form.
The Punnett Square shows the parental tall TT
(male) and dwarf tt (female) plants, the gametes
produced by them and, the F
1
 Tt  progeny. The F
1
plants of genotype Tt are self-pollinated. The
symbols & & & & & and % % % % % are used to denote the female
(eggs) and male (pollen) of the F
1 
generation, respectively. The F
1
 plant of
the genotype Tt when self-pollinated, produces gametes of the genotype
T and t in equal proportion. When fertilisation takes place, the pollen
grains of genotype T have a 50 per cent chance to pollinate eggs of the
genotype T, as well as of genotype t. Also pollen grains of genotype t have
a 50 per cent chance of pollinating eggs of genotype T, as well as of
Figure 5.4 A Punnett square used to
understand a typical monohybrid
cross conducted by Mendel
between true-breeding tall plants
and true-breeding dwarf plants
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