Pedigree analysis, Biology tutorial


In genetics, a pedigree is a chart or diagram of a family tree exhibiting the relationships among individuals altogether with related facts regarding their medical histories. A pedigree analysis is an interpretation of data which lets a better understanding of the transmission of genes in the family. Generally, at least one member of the family consists of a genetic disease and by observing the pedigree, signs to the approach of inheritance of the disorder and the possible risk to other family members can be acquired.

Pedigree analysis is basically the study of an inherited trait in a group of associated individuals to find out the pattern and features of the trait, comprising its mode of inheritance, age of beginning and phenotypic variability.


An autosome is a eukaryote chromosome other than sex chromosomes.

Sex chromosome [X chromosome, Y chromosome]

1) Eukaryote chromosomes of numerous species (specifically animals) might be differentiated into two general classes: Those which are comprised in the determination of gender (sex chromosomes) and those which are not autosomes.

2) In humans, the female gender is found out by the deficiency of a Y chromosome and the presence of an X chromosome whereas the male is found out by the presence of a Y chromosome. As females encompass only X chromosomes, the only grouping of chromosomes which generally takes place is XX (that is, female) and XY (that is, male).

3) It must be noted that a human deficient an X chromosome is as well enviable since the X chromosome carries a number of valuable genes (that is, just YY and just Y are not viable). The same can't be stated for the Y chromosome that is of value only in the determination of gender.

4) It must be noted that not all species use chrosomal (that is, genetic) differences to find out gender. However, there are an entire range of strategies by which gender is found out in the natural world, and it is not unheard of for organisms to switch gender throughout normal, adult maturation.

Chromosome number:

Humans have 23 chromosomes per haploid. Of such 23, 22 are autosomes whereas the 23rd is either one of two sex chromosomes, X or Y. The chromosome number determines in other species generally distinct from that in humans. Chromosome number, though, tends to be invariant in species (characteristically by definition).


Metaphase mitosis chromosomes might be arranged in such a way that they are visible via a light microscope. Such an arrangement, is termed as a karyotype, chromosomes display a diversity of differentiating features comprising length from centromere (arm length), total length and patterns of banding (that is, the latter on staining having specific chromosome staining dyes).

From this karyotype chromosomes are termed numerically, for the most portions with rising number having decreasing size (that is, length). Therefore, Autosome number 1 is the biggest of human chromosomes whereas Autosome number 21 is the smallest (note that Autosome number 22 is not really the smallest of human chromosomes---a violation of convention which apparently symbolizes an early cytogenetically error which was caught only after everybody was employed to this erroneous designation, thus doomed to be forever an exemption to the rule).

Homologous (non-homologous) chromosome:

A chromosome of the similar kind found in an individual. That is, the homologue of one chromosome 21 in an individual's human cell is the other chromosome 21. A non-homologous chromosome (to chromosome 21) would be chromosome numbers 1-20, 22, X, or Y.


It is a failure of chromosomes to separate throughout mitosis or meiosis. In meiosis this leads to the gametes that have a surplus or deficit of one or more chromosome.

Trisomies and monosomies:

It is an outcome of a meiotic nondisjunction. A trisomy is the presence of three or more homologous chromosomes on fertilization (and therefore in the resultant individual). A monosomy consists of merely a single instance of a particular kind of chromosome instead of the expected two (that is, in a diploid individual).

Trisomy 21 [Down syndrome]:

It is the mere long term viable human trisomy. Down syndrome representing individuals have, in the simplest of cases, three Autosome number 21s instead of the normal two.


The joining and breakage of a part of one chromosome to a second, nonhomologous chromosome. Translocations are a means through which partial Trisomies might be attained (that is, an individual might hold three copies of a specific part of a given chromosome with the third copy joined to a nonhomologous chromosome).

Dosage compensation:

It is a method through which species having sex chromosomes make sure that the homogametic sex doesn't encompass too much or the heterogametic sex too little action of loci on the homogametic sex chromosome. The procedure, in organisms employing a chromosomal sex determination mechanism (like XX versus XY), which lets standard structural genes on the homogametic sex chromosome to be stated at the similar levels in males and females, in spite of of the number of homogametic sex chromosomes. In mammals, dosage compensation functions by maintaining merely a single active X chromosome in each cell, whereas in Drosophila it functions by hyper activating the single male X chromosome.

Barr body:

Inactivated X chromosomes found out in the cells of females are termed as Barr bodies. They were named this prior to it was comprehend that Barr bodies are inactivated X chromosomes.


Codominance is neither dominant nor recessive. Certain allelic combinations apply neither dominance nor recessiveness. Rather, both alleles apply an influence on phenotype. Such allelic combinations are stated to display Codominance. It both assists and hinders pedigree analysis. It is a hindrance as it means that at least three phenotypes are possible for three genotypes (AA, Aa, and aa). Though, this as well can make pedigree analysis terribly simple because phenotype maps 1:1 onto genotype.

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