Mr kousen is    Water Man.

IncOMpleTe & COdominANce
In many ways Gregor Mendel was quite lucky in discovering his genetic laws.  He happened to use pea plants, which happened to have a number of easily observable traits that were determined by just two alleles.  And for the traits he studied in his peas, one allele happened to be dominant for the trait & the other was a recessive form.  Things aren't always so clear-cut & "simple" in the world of genetics, but luckily for Mendel (& the science world) he happened to work with an organism whose genetic make-up was fairly clear-cut & simple.

INCOMPLETE DOMINANCE
If Mendel were given a mommy black mouse & a daddy white mouse & asked what their offspring would look like, he would've said that a certain percent would be black & the others would be white.  He would never have even considered that a white mouse & a black mouse could produce a GREY mouse!  For Mendel, the phenotype of the offspring from parents with different phenotypes always resembled the phenotype of at least one of the parents.  In other words, Mendel was unaware of the phenomenon of INCOMPLETE DOMINANCE.
 
I remember Incomplete Dominance in the form of an example like so:
RED Flower x WHITE Flower ---> PINK Flower
 
With incomplete dominance, a cross between organisms with two different phenotypes produces offspring with a third phenotype that is a blending of the parental traits. 


It's like mixing paints, red + white will make pink.  Red doesn't totally block (dominate) the pink, instead there is incomplete dominance, and we end up with something in-between.

We can still use the Punnett Square to solve problems involving incomplete dominance.  The only difference is that instead of using a capital letter for the dominant trait & a lowercase letter for the recessive trait, the letters we use are both going to be capital (because neither trait dominates the other).  So the cross I used up above would look like this:

 
R = allele for red flowers
W = allele for white flowers

red x white ---> pink
RR x WW ---> 100% RW

For a P-square "How To" click < here>.
The trick is to recognize when you are dealing with a question involving incomplete dominance.  There are two steps to this:
1) Notice that the offspring is showing a 3rd phenotype.  The parents each have one, and the offspring are different from the parents.
2) Notice that the trait in the offspring is a blend (mixing) of the parental traits.
Sample Questions
1. A cross between a blue blahblah bird & a white blahblah bird produces offspring that are silver.  The color of blahblah birds is determined by just two alleles.
a) What are the genotypes of the parent blahblah birds in the original cross?
b) What is/are the genotype(s) of the silver offspring?
c) What would be the phenotypic ratios of offspring produced by two silver blahblah birds?

2.  The color of fruit for plant "X" is determined by two alleles.  When two plants with orange fruits are crossed the following phenotypic ratios are present in the offspring: 25% red fruit, 50% orange fruit, 25% yellow fruit.  What are the genotypes of the parent orange-fruited plants?

WORK THEM OUT & THEN CLICK HERE.

CODOMINANCE

First let me point out that the meaning of the prefix "co-" is "together".
Cooperate = work together.  Coexist = exist together.  Cohabitat = habitat together.

Have we got it together?


The genetic gist to codominance is pretty much the same as incomplete dominance.  A hybrid organism shows a third phenotype --- not the usual "dominant" one & not the "recessive" one ... but a third, different phenotype.  With incomplete dominance we get a blending of the dominant & recessive traits so that the third phenotype is something in the middle (red x white = pink).

In COdominance, the "recessive" & "dominant" traits appear together in the phenotype of hybrid organisms.
 
I remember codominance in the form of an example like so:
red x white ---> red & white spotted
 

With codominance, a cross between organisms with two different phenotypes produces offspring with a third phenotype in which both of the parental traits appear together
When it comes to punnett squares & symbols, it's the same as incomplete dominance.  Use capital letters for the allele symbols.  My example cross from above would look like so:
R = allele for red flowers
W = allele for white flowers

red x white ---> red & white spotted
RR x WW ---> 100% RW

I have seen some texts use letters & superscripts when dealing with codominance, which is nice, but not necessary.  Just in case your text uses it, it looks like this:
We'll use "F" for the flower color allele.
FR = allele for red flowers
FW = allele for white flowers

red x white -------> red & white spotted flowers
FRF x FWFW ----> 100% FRFW

The symbols you choose to use don't matter, in the end you end up with hybrid organisms, and rather than one trait (allele) dominating the other, both traits appear together in the phenotype.  Wa-la, codominance.

A very very very very very common phenotype used in questions about codominance is roan fur in cattle.  Cattle can be red (RR = all red hairs), white (WW = all white hairs), or roan (RW = red & white hairs together).  A good example of codominance.
Another example of codominance is human blood type AB, in which two types of protein ("A" & "B") appear together on the surface of blood cells.

Sample Questions
1. Predict the phenotypic ratios of offspring when a homozygous white cow is crossed with a roan bull.
2. What should the genotypes & phenotypes for parent cattle be if a farmer wanted only cattle with red fur?
3. A cross between a black cat & a tan cat produces a tabby pattern (black & tan fur together).
a) What pattern of inheritence does this illustrate?
b) What percent of kittens would have tan fur if a tabby cat is crossed with a black cat?

Write your solutions down on scrap paper & then click <HERE>.


The concepts on this page don't make Mendel dumb in any way.  They are simply information that has been discovered & added to his ingenious work, making this snowball we call science just a wee bit bigger, & bigger, & bigger ....

So, good work! Hope your brain got a little bigger.
 


biotopics

click here








ANSWER AREA
Incomplete Dominance Sample Questions

1. A cross between a blue blahblah bird & a white blahblah bird produces offspring that are silver.  The color of blahblah birds is determined by just two alleles.
a) What are the genotypes of the parent blahblah birds in the original cross? 
Since there are only 2 alleles & three phenotypes (blue, white, & silver), we must be dealing with incomplete dominance.  So the blue parent is homozygous blue (BB) & the white parent is homozygous white (WW).
b) What is/are the genotype(s) of the silver offspring? 
The silver offspring are hybrids (BW), one blue allele & one white allele, neither one dominating the other.  Instead, we get a blending of blue & white, i.e. silver.
c) What would be the phenotypic ratios of offspring produced by two silver blahblah birds? 
 
silver x silver = BW x BW

The p-square would look like what you see here.

As you can see, 25% (1/4) of the offspring are homozygous white (WW), 25% (1/4) are homozygous blue (BB), & 50% (2/4) are hybrid & therefor have the silver phenotype.

2.  The color of fruit for plant "X" is determined by two alleles.  When two plants with orange fruits are crossed the following phenotypic ratios are present in the offspring: 25% red fruit, 50% orange fruit, 25% yellow fruit.  What are the genotypes of the parent orange-fruited plants?
Again, it comes in really handy if you can recognize right off the bat that we have three phenotypes & just 2 alleles.  That means we are dealing with either incomplete or codominance.  Since orange is a blend of red & yellow, it's incomplete dominance.  So the "in-between" phenotype is the hybrid, orange in this example.  We'll use RR = red, YY = yellow, & our orange fruits are RY.


Codominance Sample Questions

1. Predict the phenotypic ratios of offspring when a homozygous white cow is crossed with a roan bull. 
 

Step #1 --- recognize that "roan" is a codominance trait. 

Homozygous white = WW, & roan = RW (a hybrid cow). 
So our cross is WW x RW & the punnett square should look something like what you see here.

The results:
2/4 offspring (50%) will be roan (RW), & 50% will be white (WW).

2. What should the genotypes & phenotypes for parent cattle be if a farmer wanted only cattle with red fur? 
Well, the only way to have red fur is to be homozygous red (RR).  In order to get that genotype in all the offspring both parents must be "RR". A parent with one or more "W" alleles will cause the inheritence of roan fur in some offspring.  Go ahead & work out all the punnett squares if you don't believe me. 
Only RR x RR gives you 100% RR.
RR x RW would produce 50% roan, 50% red,
RW x RW produces 25% red, 50% roan & 25% white,
WW x RW would produce 50% roan, 50% white,
& WW x RR would produce 100% roan (RW).

3. A cross between a black cat & a tan cat produces a tabby pattern (black & tan fur together). 
a) What pattern of inheritence does this illustrate? 
Codominance, two phenotypes together at the same time.
b) What percent of kittens would have tan fur if a tabby cat is crossed with a black cat?
 
Tabby cats are the hybrids (because they have both colors) & a black cat must be homozygous black. 
So the cross for this problem is BB (black) x BT (tabby).

The p-square is at the right.

The results show that 50% of the offspring will be BB (black) & 50% will be tabby (BT).  So to answer the question, 0% of the kittens will be tan.

PARTING THOUGHTS


 

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