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Segregation of Genes: The Plant Breeder's Method of Predicting the Future

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How plant breeders create families with new combinations of traits and make predictions about the inheritance of traits. Discusses Mendel and Punnett.


Fig. 1. A field of wheat, stretches to the horizon while neighboring plants ready for potential invasion.
Figure 1. A field of wheat stretches to the horizon while neighboring weeds produce offspring for future invasions.

After reading this lesson you should be able to..

  1. Describe how plant breeders can create families with new combinations of traits and make predictions about the inheritance of traits. [Covered in the sections Super Power through Segregation and Monogenic Characters.]
  2. Outline the experimental approach Mendel used to propose the idea that genes exist, control traits, and are inherited in predictable ways. [Mendel's Peas]
  3. Compare the methods used by Mendel and Punnett to predict trait inheritance. [Punnett and His Square]
  4. Justify the application of gene segregation principles to select plants that will create the future varieties for farmers to grow.  [Back to the Wheat Breeding Field]

The target audience for this lesson is the college, entry-level genetics student.

Authors:  Don Lee and Amy Kohmetscher, University of Nebraska-Lincoln

This project was supported by the National Research Initiative Competitive Grants CAP project 2011-68002-30029 from the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture.



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