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Points to remember
Heredity is the transmission of traits(characters) from one generation to the next
Genetics is the science of heredity and variation i.e. it deals with the mechanisms
responsible for producing similarities and dissimilarities in the members of the
same species or closely relates species.
Speciation is the process of forming a new species when variations occur in
geographically isolated members which lead to reproductive isolation where
members of the same species do not reproduce among themselves.
Evolution is a gradual process through which the present day animals and plants
have arisen since the time life originated.
Questions and answers
What type of DNA changes cause variations?
Following are the causes
B) Inaccuracies during DNA copying mechanism cause variations.
C) A change in the chromosome number or structure causes variations.
What is the diploid number of chromosomes in the cells of human beings?
46 or 23 pairs in the cells of human beings
what is a trait as considered by Mendel? What controls these traits according to
Mendel considered every character as a trait which according to him was controlled
by factors. These factors are called genes now.
Give an example of variation which occurs in human population?
Attached or free ear lobes
What term is used for the trait which will be observed in an offspring?
Dominant trait
What term is used for the trait which is not seen in an offspring?
Recessive trait
Which contrasting characters of pea plant were chosen by Mendel for his study
of inheritance?
He had chosen contrasting characters like tall/dwarf plants, round/wrinkled seeds
white/violet flowers yellow/green seeds etc.
What is the first generation known as?
F1 or filial generation or F1 progeny.

How did Mendels experiments prove that all tall plants of F1 generation were
truly tall plants?
The F1 generation was allowed to reproduce through self pollination
What is monohybrid cross?
When one pair of contrasting characters are considered in a cross its known as
monohybrid cross.
What is dihybrid cross?
When 2 pairs of contrasting characters are considered in a cross its known as
monohybrid cross
Define a gene?
A gene is a hereditary unit chemically a segment of DNA meant for specific
biological function and maintaining the constancy through generation
What are sex chromosomes?
Sex chromosomes are a pair of chromosomes which help in determining the sex of an
individual. In females, sex chromosomes are XX and in males they are XY
What is the genetic constitution of a human sperm?
22 + Y or 22 + X
does temperature at which the fertilized egg is kept determine the sec of the
developing animal?
In which group of animals are individuals able to change sex?
Does the sex determination in snails is genetically controlled?
In some organisms like snails the sex determination is not genetically controlled
If a trait A exist in 10% of the population of an asexually reproducing species
and a trait B exists in 60% of the same population which trait is likely to have
appeared earlier?
Mention 3 factors which may cause evolution?
Genetic variation natural selection and reproductive isolation
What is genetic drift?
Due to certain factors such as migration or death of the organisms the frequency of
genes changes in a population. This is known as genetic drift.

Why are the traits acquired during the lifetime of an individual not inherited?
These are not inherited as these are not present in the reproductive cells.
Why is the small number if surviving tigers a cause of worry from the point of
view of genetics?
Since the number of surviving tigers is very small the chance of sexual reproduction
is reduced and the complete genetic pool of tigers may be lost ultimately
What is an acquired character? give an example
A change in a character which occurs in non-reproductive cells is called an acquired
character e.g. loss of weight by an organisms is considered ad an acquired character.
A Mendelian experiment consisted of crossing tall pea plants, bearing violet
flowers with short pea plants bearing white flowers. The progeny bore violet
flowers but almost half of them were short. This suggests that the genetic
makeup of the tall parents can be defined as
How does inheritance of characters help in accumulation of variations?
Inheritance of characters from the previous generation provides not only the basic
body design but also passes on to the next generation, the subtle changes which have
occurred in the previous generation. The second generation will inherit all the
variations from the first generation and will also possess newly created variations.
How will the variations occur in an asexually reproducing organism like a
A bacterium divides by asexual means and produces two bacteria which also
reproduce asexually, resulting in four but almost similar individuals. Minor
differences will occur at a very small level due to inaccuracies occurring during DNA
copying mechanism.
How does the inheritance if traits depend upon contribution by both mother and
Both mother and father contribute exactly equal amount if genetic material to the
offspring. This means that in the offspring each trait will be represented y a pair
having two genes. DNA from the paternal and maternal parents can influence the
traits in the offspring.
How do Mendels experiments show that traits may be dominant or recessive?
Mendel obtained F1 generation having tall progeny by crossing tall pea plants with
dwarf pea plants. He further self-pollinated the members of F1 progeny and obtained
F2 generation where three parts of plants were tall and one part as of dwarf plants. He
assessed that out of two traits one trait that is tallness is dominant and the other that is
dwarfness is recessive trait.

Depict the inheritance of factors up to F2 generation by a cross between a tall

plant and a dwarf plant to prove Mendels experiment?
germ cells

Tall Plant


Dwarf Plant

Tt x Tt (self pollination)


TT : Tt



What are variations? How does sexual reproduction bring about variations in
the offsprings?
Variations are the differences in the traits or characters among the individuals of a
species. Variations arise during sexual reproduction. An offspring receives some
characters or genes from one parent and some characters from the other parent
through gametes. Random fusion of the gametes causes variations in the offsprings.
What are the different ways in which an individual with a particular trait may
increase in population?
By natural selection or genetic drift
Why are traits acquired during the lifetime of an individual not inherited?
A trait is like weight loss, due to non-availability of food, is an acquired trait by an
individual in its lifetime. It cannot be inherited by the progeny as this trait does not
bring a change in the genes of the reproductive cells.
How do two isolated subpopulations of a species become two different species?
The process of genetic drift and natural selection will cause the two isolated
subpopulations of a species to become more and more different from each other.
Gradually, the 2 subpopulations will become incapable of reproducing among
Can the wings of a butterfly and the wings of a bat be considered as homologous
organs? Why or why not?
The wings of a butterfly and that of bat cannot be considered as homologous organs.
Wings of bats are folds of skin and stretch between elongated fingers of the forelimbs.
The wings of the butterfly are folds of membrane associated with muscles. Wings of a
bat and that of butterfly perform the function of flying but do not have the same
origin and structure.

What are analogous organs?

Analogous organs are the organs that perform the same function though their
structure and origin are different in different animals, for example the wings of birds
and wings of bats. Wings of birds have feathers all over the arm but wings of bats are
skin fold. The function of both the types of wings is same i.e. of flying.
What are homologous organs?
Homologous organs are the organs found in different animals having same structure
and origin but performing different functions. The similarities in the organs show
common ancestory. Forelimbs of birds and forelimbs of man have same origin and
structure, but in birds they act as wings for flying and in man for holding and picking
things. Homologous organs help in tracing evolutionary relationships.
Will geographical isolation be a major factor in the speciation of a self
pollination plant species? Why or why not?
Geographical isolation will not be a major factor in the speciation of self pollinating
plant species. The plants are self pollinating so the variations will not occur.
Variations may occur due to mistake in DNA copying mechanism or due to change in
chromosome number which are very rare.
Mention difference between acquired and inherited characters.
Acquired characters
Inherited characters
1. Changes in characters do not occur in
1. Changes occurring in reproductive
genes of the reproductive tissue.
tissues are heritable changes.
They occur in the somatic cells so
2. Any heritable change which occurs in
these are not heritable.
one generation may be passed on to
2. Even if the change occurs in many
the successive generation.
generations, such as the cutting tails
of mice in many successive
generations, it will never be

Who was Gregor John Mendel? What was hi contribution to study pf heredity?
Gregor John Mendel was a monk and studies science and mathematics at the
University of Vienna. He was very keen on studying the inheritance of characters and
performed experiments with the pea plant he used his mathematical knowledge in
keeping and evaluating the records of generations of pea plants, he obtained. He gave
laws of inheritance which still hold good.
Who was Charles Robert Darwin? What was his contribution to the study of
Charles Robert Darwin went on a 5 year voyage at the age of 22 years. He went to
south America and the islands off its coast. He made several observations regarding

the flora and fauna of the places he visited. After coming back to England, he
experimented and formulated his hypothesis of evolution by natural selection.
A man with the blood group A marries a woman with blood group O and their
daughter has blood group O. is the information enough to tell you which of the
trait-blood group A or O is dominant? Why or why not?
Father has blood group A. since all genes are represented by a pair, therefore, hid
blood group may be depicted as AA or OO. If it is AA, then daughter should have the
genetic setup of blood group as AO. The mother has blood group O and her genetic
constitution can be OO only. Since the daughter has blood group O, represented as
OO, then fathers blood group must be AO. It clearly shows A is dominant over O.
this information is complete.
Give an example from recent time to justify that different species have evolved
from a common ancestor?
Cabbage plant is a recent example. Man has been cultivating cabbage since the last
2000 years. Through artificial selection man has produced different species from
cabbage. Come farmers wanted closely placed leaves which can be seen in cabbage
we eat, some wanted the development of the flower to be arrested and produces
broccoli. Sterile flowers produced cauliflower. Some wanted to ave swollen part and
kohlrabi was produced. Some developed a leay vegetable called kale with slightly
larger leaves. All these have descended from the common ancestor and show
evolutionary relationships.
A population of red beetles, living in green bushes is being eaten by the crows.
During sexual reproduction, a green beetle is found in the progeny. What will be
the fate of the new trait? Will it be able to survive in the habitat?
The red beetled live in green bushes and are eaten by crows as they are easily visible
to them. Among the progeny, when a green beetle was found, it probably had escaped
the attack of crows as it merged with the green color of the bushes. This new trait
could be passed on to the next progeny. Gradually, the green beetles increased in
number and the number of red beetles decreased. So the new trait is able to survive in
the habitat.

What experiment would we do to confirm that the F2 generation did in fact have
1:2:1 ratio of TT, Tt and tt trait combination?
F1 generation obtained by crossing a tall pea plant with a dwarf pea plant, consisted
of only tall plants. These plants were allowed to self-pollinate. The ratio obtained in
f2 generation was 3:1. To confirm that F2 generation in fact has 1:2:1 ratio of TT: Tt:
tt, the following cases can be performed.
Tt x Tt (self pollination)
Tall plants
: tt
1 : 2
: 1
: |__|
: 1
TT x tt
only tall plants

TT x tt
Tt Tt

tt x tt
only dwarf plants

this shows that tall plants obtained in F2 generation have different genotypes i.e. TT and
A study found that children with light-colored eyes are likely to have parents with
light colored eyes. On this basis, can we say anything bout whether the light eye
color is dominant or recessive? Why or why not?
it cannot be assessed that light eye color is dominant or recessive. If it is recessive, then
both the parents will be having two copies of the trait as CC. the possible inheritance of
eye colour in a child can be represented by the following crosses:
CC x
cc x
Appears to be
A dominant trait

Cc cc
nothing can be

Appears to be

It cannot be ascertained whether the light eye colour is dominant or recessive it can only
be decided if at least genotype of one parent or of grandparents is given
How are the areas of study of evolution and classification interlinked?
The more characteristics two species have in common, the more closely they are related.
This means that two species must have originated from the common ancestor. This makes

it clear that classification of organisms is in face a reflection of their evolutionary

Explain the importance of fossils in deciding evolutionary relationships.
A study of homologous and analogous organs can also be carried out in fossilized species,
fossils give a very good account of body designs of the species buried in rocks. Dinosaurs
were reptiles that existed millions of years ago and their preserved bodies with feathers
are obtained as fossils. Those feathers were not used for flying by dinosaurs but they
were meant for giving warmth to the body. They must have evolved into wings later,
meant for flight as seen in birds. This shows a close relationship between birds and
reptiles and explains the importance of fossils in deciding evolutionary relationships.
Only variations that confer an advantage to an organism will survive in a
population. Do you agree with this statement? Why or why not?
It is true that variations confer an advantage to an organism will survive in a population.
But there are variations which do not give any advantage to the organism but do survive
in the population. E.g. among the population of red beetles, a blue beetles was found. The
blue beetles increased slowly in number. Only a chance, like stamping by elephant may
kill red beetles leaving a few blue beetles. Blue beetles will slowly increase in the
Homologous organs
1. they have the same basic
2. these organs are inherited by
different organisms from the same
3. the wings of birds and forelimbs of
man have the same origin and
structure, but in birds they are used
for flying and in humans they are
used for picking and holding things

Analogous organs
1. they do not have the same basic
2. these organs have a diffent origin
3. in the case of wings of birds and
wings on insects their origin and
structure is different but their
function is same.

How can the age of fossil be ascertained?

2 ways
1. if we dig into rock or earth, we may start finding the fossils. The fossils found in
the upper layers will obviously be of recent origin. The fossils found in the lower
layers will be those that formed earlier.
2. the second way of ascertaining is by detecting the ratios of different isotope of the
same element, in the fossil material
Why are human beings who look so different from each other in terms of size colour
and looks said to belong to the same species?
These differences are variations observed in human beings. Its a common idea that all
human beings are considered as belonging to different races, mainly on the basis of the

complexion of the skin. But all the races belong to one species only called the HOMO
SAPIENS. Al human beings have the same body plan-they respire they excrete reproduce
in the same manner. The heart has the same structural and functional plan and the same is
the case with the brain. And above all, al humans can interbreed, which implies white
people can produce children with Negroes and so on.
In evolutionary terms, can we say which among the bacteria spider fishes and
chimpanzees have a better body design? Why or why not?
Chimpanzees have a better body design. They have two hind limbs on which they
can walk and two fore limbs which help in various activities like holding an
object. The other 3 organisms cannot do this
Chimpanzees have a well-developed respiratory system and an excretory system.
Hair on the body is meant for protection from environmental conditions.
Breathing in fishes is through gills which is not as efficient as in chimpanzees.
Bacteria exchange gases through the general surface of the body
In chimpanzees heart is 4 chambered where oxygenated blood is kept separate
from the deoxygenated blood, thus providing more oxygen to produce more
energy needed for its complex body. These organisms do not show as efficient
systems as chimpanzees have.
The brain in chimpanzees is more developed as compared to the fishes and the
spiders while bacteria do not have a brain. Sense organs of chimpanzees are more
evolved too.
Chimpanzees develop their young ones inside their body and protect them during
their growth, whereas theses organisms produce eggs which can be destroyed by
men before the young ones develop
How do Mendels experiments show that traits are inherited independently?
Mendel selected pea plants with two contrasting characters of one character. He
crossed tall plants having round seeds with dwarf plants bearing wrinkled seeds. In F1
generation, all plants were tall and had round seeds. When he self pollinated F1
generation to obtain F2 generation he found that there were tall plants bearing round
seeds dwarf plants with wrinkled seeds and there were recombinants also like tall
plants with wrinkled seeds and dwarf plants with round seeds. The ratio in F2
generation was 9:3:3:1 as shown below:

germ cells

tall with round seeds


dwarf with wrinkled seeds


TtRr x TtRr (self-pollination)

F2 generation

Tall with
Round seeds

Tall with
Dwarf with
wrinkled seeds
round seeds

Dwarf with
wrinkled seeds

tall plants in the population = 9+3 = 12

dwarf plants in the population = 3 + 1= 4
ratio of tall/dwarf = 3:1
plants with round seeds in the population = 9+3=12
plants with wrinkled seeds in the population = 3+1=4
ratio of round/wrinkled = 3:1
Show inheritance of two characters by making a cross between round and yellow
seeds with wrinkles and green seeds.

round & yellow seeds

Germs cells

F1 genaration

F2 generation round and

Yellow seeds

wrinkled and green seeds


RrYy x RrYy
Round and yellow seeds
round and
green seeds

wrinkled and
wrinkled and
yellow seeds
green seeds

How can Mendels experiment be proved based on the inheritance of genes? Explain
by depicting a cross.
According to Mendels experiment, both the parents should contribute two factors i.e.
equal amount of DNA or two genes to the progeny during sexual reproduction. To

determine the trait both the parents should contribute one gene each. This means the germ
cells must receive only one gene or factor. Whem the two germ cells fuse the offspring
will receive both the genes. Applying this the germ cell from the tall parent will have
gene T and gene t from the dwarf parent. When these come together, the progeny will
have Tt combination.
Out of 2 traits tall and dwarf tall is dominant as seen in F1 generation
In F1 generation dwarf plants do not appear
In F2 generation dwarf plants reappear though in small ratio.
Tall plant
Germ cells

dwarf plant

Tt x Tt (self pollination)
Tall plant
F2 generation

TT :
1 :




What evidence do we have for the origin of life from inanimate matter?
It was speculated that when the earth formed it must be having inanimate matter or
inorganic molecules. The conditions which must have existed on the primitive earth
like very high temperature may be up to 100 degrees Celsius. And lightning might
have helped in creating life. Early earth had gases like ammonia methane and
hydrogen sulphide which got dissolves in water once rains started and the earth
became cooler. Oxygen was not present.
Stanly and Harold simulated these conditions hey took methane ammonia and
hydrogen sulphide and water vapor in a flask kept it at just below 100 degrees Celsius
and passed electric current simulating lightning of the primitive earth. The process
continued for a week it was found that 15% of the carbon present in methane was
used up in producing substances like amino acids which later must have produced
proteins. By similar chemical reactions simple carbohydrates fatty acids and glycerols
were produced.
Explain the sex determination mechanism in human beings?
The diploid number of chromosomes in the cells of human beings is 46 or 23 pairs.
22 pairs of chromosomes are same both I male and females and are called autosomes.
These are not responsible for sex determination. The 23rd pair of chromosomes
determines sex and is known as sex chromosomes. Females have similar sex

chromosomes XX and males have different sex chromosomes X and Y. during gamete
formation all female gametes are of one type 22 + X while male gametes are of two
types 22 + X and 22 + Y. when an egg is fertilized by a sperm with 22 + X genetic
constitution the zygote will have 44 + XX condition and a female child will be born.
When the egg is fertilized with 22 + Y genetic constitution the zygote will have 44 +
XX condition and a male child will be born


X (egg)

X Y (sperms)




Explain factors which can cause speciation.

Accumulation of variations in two geographically separated subgroups of the
population causes speciation which depends on the following factors:
1. Migration of members of a population with subtle changes into another
population will help in spreading of the new traits into the new population.
2. Genetic drift that is elimination of certain genes from population due to natural
calamities or death will bring a change in the gene frequency.
3. Variations also accumulate when inaccuracies occur in the DNA copying
mechanism. Change in chromosome number may also cause drastic differences in
to two subgroups. Sexual reproduction also causes variations.
4. Geographical barrier or geographical isolation like intervention of a river or
mountain between two subgroups of the population causes decrease in the level of
the gene flow.
5. reproductive isolation occurs between the two subgroups which means the two
subgroups develop traits which do not allot them to mate with each other
Explain the following:
1. Geographical isolation: due to intervention of some physical barrier like Sea
River or mountain the already partly separated subgroups get further
separated. The gene flow between the subgroups decreases. This is known as
geographical isolation.
2. reproductive isolation: due to genetic drift or natural selection the
geographically isolate two subgroups of a population becomes so different
from each other that the members of the 2 subgroups fail to reproduce each
other. This results in reproductive isolation resulting in new species.

3. genetic drift: a section of a population gets eliminated by chance either due to

migration or sudden death of the members. This causes traits or genes to be
eliminated or added in a population thus exhibiting genetic drift.
4. Inaccuracies during DNA copying mechanism: at the time of gamete
formation DNA makes its own copy. Inaccuracies may occur during copying
mechanism which causes sudden heritable changes known as mutations.
5. Natural selection: natural selection is the process by which the members of
the population with eth e new suitable traits are selected to live in the
prevailing environment. These members grow up and reproduce to pass on the
newly acquired characters to the next generation thus helping in evolution.
Give an example of characteristic being used to determine how close he two
species are in evolutionary terms?
There are ways by which tracing evolution relationships can be possible the
,method of estimating amount of DNA changes known as molecular phylogeny, in
different species is extensively used. During sexual reproduction DNA changes
occur due to inaccuracies in the DNA copying mechanism at the tome of gamete
formation, DNA of different species can be compared which will give a direct
estimate of the amount of DNA changes which have occurred in these species,
these changes accumulate from one generation the next generation. Since DNA
produce new proteins these changes can be observed in changed characters. This
involves the ides that organisms distantly related will accumulate greater number
of difference in their DNA. Such studies help in tracing evolutionary relationship
between different species.