Genetics For Dummies
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Genetic inheritance boils down to three simple concepts put forth by Gregor Mendel, a humble monk and part-time scientist who founded the entire discipline of genetics:

  • Segregation: In diploid organisms, chromosome pairs (and their alleles) are separated into individual gametes (eggs or sperm) to transmit genetic information to offspring.

  • Dominance: A dominant allele completely masks the effects of a recessive allele. A dominant allele produces the same phenotype in heterozygotes and in homozygotes.

  • Independent assortment: Alleles on different chromosomes are distributed randomly to individual gametes.

About This Article

This article is from the book:

About the book authors:

Tara Rodden Robinson, PhD, taught genetics at Auburn University and Oregon State University for almost 15 years. Lisa Cushman Spock, PhD, CGC, is a writer. She's spent much of her 20-year career as a medical researcher, clinical genomics specialist, and certified genetics counselor.

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