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Problem Set 2

1. In 100 words or less, describe how Mendel’s dihybrid crosses were consistent with
the law of independent assortment.

The law of Independent assortment states that “Two different genes randomly assort
their alleles during the formation of haploid cells”. Since a dihybrid cross (two factor cross)
investigate the patter of inheritance for two different character, the law of independent
assortment proposed by Mendel was consistence and held true for dihybrid crosses since
allele for one gene are found within a resulting gamete independently of whether the
allele for a different gene is found in the same gamete. For example, in the F1 self-
fertilization, any two gametes can combine randomly during fertilization such as RY, Ry,
rY, ry.

2. For the pedigree shown below, which of the following patterns of inheritance are
possible? Assume complete penetrance. Explain your reasoning.

autosomal recessive
autosomal dominant
X-linked recessive
Sex-influenced, dominant in females

Note: The patterns above refer to inheritance pattern of affected individuals, which are
shown in black.
2. A type B woman is the daughter of a type O father and type B mother. If she has children
with a type O man, what are the following probabilities?
A. A type AB child
B. A type O child
C. The first three children with type B blood
D. A family containing two children with type B blood and one child with type O

3. A heterozygous plant, GgHhIiJjKk is allowed to self-fertilize. What is the probability that

an offspring will be GGHhIiJjkk?

4. A cross was made between homozygous wild-type female Drosophila and yellow-bodied
male Drosophila. All of the resulting offspring were phenotypically wild type. Offspring of
the F2 generation had the following phenotypes:
Sex Phenotype Number
male wild 96
male yellow 99
female wild 197

Based on this information:

(a) Is the mutant gene for yellow body behaving as a recessive or dominant gene and why?

(b) Is the yellow locus on an autosome or on the X chromosome and why?

5. With regard to flower color in sweet peas, explain how complementation can occur when
two different white-flowered strains are crossed to produce purple-flowered offspring. Your
explanation should focus on the concept of loss-of-function versus functional alleles.
6. An enzyme, encoded by gene A, converts substrate X into product Y. Individuals with a
dominant mutation in gene A over accumulate substrate X, which causes severe
neurological symptoms. At the molecular level, this enzyme functions as a homodimer. A
homodimer is a protein composed of two subunits that are encoded by the same gene. Let’s
suppose you are able to purify subunits from cell samples and then mix them together under
conditions in which they form homodimers, and you have an enzyme assay that can
measure the accumulation of product Y. How would you distinguish the three common
patterns of dominant inheritance: haploinsufficiency, dominant negative mutations, and gain-
of-function mutations? In your answer, you need to describe what types of cell samples you
would analyze, and how your results could distinguish between the three molecular
explanations for dominant inheritance. Be quantitative in your answer.