Principle of inheritance and variation in class 12 biology syllabus is a very important topic with a good weightage in the competitive exams. This chapter explains the basic concepts of inheritance and theories put forward by biologists. In this chapter, students will learn the laws of heredity, incomplete dominance, the chromosomal theory of inheritance, Sex determination, mutation, Mendel’s law of inheritance and much more. The idea of inheritance pattern was developed after Mendel’s work and his contributions in the field of genetics. This chapter provides an insight into the essence of modern biology - which is, genetics.
Let’s have a look at the notes of chapter principles of inheritance and variation in this article.
An elephant gives birth to only an elephant baby, a mango seed only gives rise to a mango tree, human beings give birth to only young human beings. This kind of continuation of species by giving birth to individuals with similar heredity or traits is because of inheritance. Thus, heredity is a process of transmitting heritable traits to young ones by their parents. The traits that continue the legacy are found in genes on the chromosomes within the body of an individual. Genes are chemicals that carry genetic information about how to code proteins.
Sir Gregor Mendel performed various experiments to study and know more about inheritance, heredity, genetics and variation.
What is the Variation?
The difference in DNA among individuals is called a variation in genetics. Mutation, genetic recombination, crossing over, environmental changes and other such ways lead to genetic variation. It is the impact of these on the way genes are expressed.
Mendel’s Law of Inheritance
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Mendel performed experiments on Garden pea in the back of his garden to establish the principle of heredity. For this, he took 14 true-breeding pea plants with seven distinguishable characters that had two opposite traits.
Mendel called genes as “factors”that pass to the offspring from the parents.
And the factors (genes) that coded for a pair of opposite traits were called “alleles”.
Based on his observation, Mendel gave three laws of inheritance.
Law of Dominance
In case of the formation of the heterozygote, one of the alleles is dominant. And, the dominant allele is expressed in the phenotype. So, when homozygous tall with (TT) alleles are crossed with dwarf (tt) plants, all the resulting offspring plants are tall and have the tall dominant trait with genotype Tt.
Law of Segregation of Genes
At the time of gamete formation during meiosis, each allele separates. So, the characters are passed to gametes without blending. Also, heterozygotes produce different kinds of gametes while homozygous only one type.
Law of Independent Assortment
This law explains the independent separation of genes. It means that alleles inherited by progeny from different traits are acquired independently.