Genetics - Inheritance and Variation of Traits

If learning vocabulary is in your DNA, you'll want to practice this list of words related to heredity and genetic variation. Review cell division, dominant and recessive genes, genotype and phenotype, and more.

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definitions & notes only words
  1. allele
    any of the forms of a gene that can occupy the same locus
  2. asexual reproduction
    reproduction without the fusion of gametes
  3. base pair
    one of the pairs of chemical bases joined by hydrogen bonds that connect the complementary strands of a DNA molecule or of an RNA molecule that has two strands; the base pairs are adenine with thymine and guanine with cytosine in DNA and adenine with uracil and guanine with cytosine in RNA
  4. breed
    have young (animals) or reproduce (organisms)
  5. cell
    the basic structural and functional unit of all organisms
  6. cell division
    the process in reproduction and growth by which a cell divides to form daughter cells
  7. chromosome
    a threadlike strand of DNA that carries genes
  8. cross-fertilization
    fertilization by the union of male and female gametes from different individual of the same species
  9. cross-pollination
    fertilization by transfer of pollen from the anthers of one flower to the stigma of another
  10. daughter cell
    a cell formed by the division or budding of another cell
  11. diversity
    noticeable variety
  12. DNA
    a long linear polymer found in the nucleus of a cell
  13. dominant
    producing the same phenotype
  14. dominant allele
    an allele that produces the same phenotype whether its paired allele is identical or different
  15. feature
    a prominent attribute or aspect of something
  16. gene
    part of DNA controlling physical characteristics and growth
  17. gene expression
    conversion of the information encoded in a gene first into messenger RNA and then to a protein
  18. genetic
    relating to the study of heredity and variation in organisms
  19. genotype
    the alleles at specified loci present in an organism
  20. Gregor Mendel
    Augustinian monk and botanist whose experiments in breeding garden peas led to his eventual recognition as founder of the science of genetics (1822-1884)
  21. heredity
    the transmission of genetic factors to the next generation
  22. inherit
    receive by genetic transmission
  23. inheritance
    attributes acquired via biological heredity from the parents
  24. meiosis
    cell division in sexually reproducing organisms
  25. mitosis
    the process by which a cell divides into two smaller cells
  26. molecule
    the simplest structural unit of an element or compound
  27. mutation
    any event that changes genetic structure
  28. offspring
    any immature animal
  29. organism
    a living thing that can act or function independently
  30. phenotype
    what an organism looks like
  31. polygenic
    of or relating to an inheritable character that is controlled by several genes at once; of or related to or determined by polygenes
  32. population
    a group of organisms of the same species inhabiting an area
  33. probability
    a measure of how likely it is that some event will occur
  34. protein
    an organic compound essential to living cells
  35. recessive
    of a gene that produces a feature if present in both parents
  36. recessive allele
    an allele that produces its characteristic phenotype only when its paired allele is identical
  37. recombination
    (genetics) a combining of genes or characters different from what they were in the parents
  38. replication
    the process whereby DNA makes a copy of itself
  39. reproduction
    the process of generating offspring
  40. sex cell
    a spermatozoon or an ovum
  41. sex chromosome
    a chromosome that determines the sex of an individual
  42. sex-linked
    concerning characteristics that are determined by genes carried on the sex chromosomes (on the X chromosome in particular)
  43. sexual reproduction
    reproduction involving the union or fusion of a male and a female gamete
  44. trait
    a distinguishing feature of your personal nature
  45. variation
    the process of being or becoming different
Created on February 7, 2017 (updated April 5, 2017)

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