Glossary – Transmission of genes from parents to offspring

Use the alphabetical glossary below to remind yourself what the terms in the course mean.

Allele – alternative form of a gene. Also called a variant.

Chromosome – consists of a DNA strand.

Chromosome pair – pair of matching chromosomes from the sire and the dam.

Crossing over – exchange of fragments between the homologous chromosomes (chromosome pair coming from the sire and the dam)

DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid) – chain-like molecule that carries an individual’s genes. Packaged as chromosomes in every cell.

Egg – female gamete, a reproductive cell.

Gamete – reproductive cell; sperm or egg. An individual passes on its genes to its offspring through gametes.

Gene – recipe for a protein.

Gene pair – pair of alleles; one from the sire and another from the dam.

Genetic relationship – proportion of DNA (gene alleles) shared by two individuals.

Genome – all the genetic material of an individual, all the DNA.

Linkage – genes are so close to each other on the chromosome that they usually inherit together.

Linkage group – the genes on the same chromosome.

Mitochondria – ”energy plant” of the cell, with its’ own DNA molecule. Mitochondrial DNA is called mtDNA.

Protein – building material of cells. Produces almost all the functions of the body.

Recombination – the mixing and random distribution of maternal and paternal alleles into gametes.

Somatic cell – cell other than a gamete.

Sperm – male gamete, a reproductive cell.

Variant – allele; alternative form of a gene.

Is there a term missing from the vocabulary used in the course? Tell me in the comments box below and I’ll add it.

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