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Chapter 5- Principles of Inheritance and Variation Interview Questions Answers

Question 1 : Mention the advantages of selecting pea plant for experiment by Mendel.

Answer 1 :

Gregor Mendel demonstrated characters of inheritance acquired by offspring from parents. He selected pea plants for this experiment for the following reasons:
Peas exhibit several visible contrasting features such as dwarf/tall plants, wrinkled/round seeds, yellow/green pod, white/purple flowers and so on.
As they possess bisexual flowers, they can easily undergo self-pollination. This is why pea plants are able to produce offspring with the same traits over generations
Cross pollination can easily be achieved through emasculation wherein the stamen of the flower is plucked without any disturbance to the pistil
These plants have a short life span wherein they produce plenty of seeds in one generation alone

Question 2 :
Differentiate between the following –
(a) Dominance and Recessive     (b) Homozygous and Heterozygous      (c) Monohybrid and Dihybrid.

Answer 2 :

The differences are as follows:
(a) Dominance and recessive



In the presence or absence of a recessive trait, dominant factor or allele expresses itself

A recessive trait expresses itself only in the absence of a dominant trait

Example: In a pea plant, round seed, violet flower are dominant characters

Example – In a pea plant, white flower, dwarf plant etc are recessive characters

(b) Homozygous and heterozygous



For a particular trait, homozygous contains two similar alleles

For a particular trait, heterozygous contains two different alleles

Only one type of gamete is produced

It produces more than one type of gamete – two different types of gametes to be precise

For homozygous, the genotype contains either recessive or dominant never both the alleles. Example- TT or tt

For heterozygous, the genotype possesses both recessive and dominant alleles. Example – Tt

(c) Monohybrid and dihybrid



It is a cross between parents differing in only one pair of contrasting characters

It is a cross between parents differing in two pairs of contrasting characters

Example – a cross between a dwarf and a tall pea plant

Example – a cross between yellow wrinkled seed and a green rounded seed

Question 3 : A diploid organism is heterozygous for 4 loci, how many types of gametes can be produced?

Answer 3 :

A locus is a fixed point on a chromosome that is occupied by one or more genes. For an allelic pair, heterozygous entities contain different alleles. Thus, a diploid entity which is heterozygous at four loci has four different contrasting characters at four different loci.
Example – if an entity is heterozygous at four loci with four different characters, such as Mm, Nn, Oo, Pp, then while meiotic division they split to form 8 different gametes.
If genes are not linked to each other, then the diploid entities will produce 16 different gametes. But, if genes are linked, gametes will decrease their number as the genes may be linked which inturn will be inherited together during the meiotic cell division.

Question 4 : Explain the Law of Dominance using a monohybrid cross.

Answer 4 :

The Law of Dominance was proposed by Mendel. It states that a dominant allele expresses itself in a monohybrid cross and suppresses the expression of recessive allele. But the recessive allele for a specific character is not vanished but remains masked or hidden in the progenies of F1 generation which resurfaces in the subsequent generation.
Example- When a monohybrid cross between two pea plants having round seeds (RR) and wrinkled seeds(rr) was carried out, all the seeds in F1 generation were observed to be round (Rr). If the round seeds were self-fertilized both the characters – round and wrinkled seeds appeared in F2 generation in 3:1 ratio. Therefore, in F1 generation, the character that is dominant i.e., the round seeds surfaced and the recessive character i.e., the wrinkled seeds got suppressed that resurfaced in the F2 generation.

Question 5 : Define and design a test-cross.

Answer 5 :

A test-cross can be defined as a cross of an F1 individual that has a dominant phenotype with its homozygous recessive parent. This test cross can be used to determine if an individual displaying dominant character is homozygous or heterozygous.
Sample test cross:
Take a tall plant (TT) and cross it with a dwarf plant(tt)
The F1 generation shows tall plant (Tt)
This tall plant(Tt) is then test crossed with homozygous recessive plant(tt)

As seen above, the test cross between tall heterozygous F1 hybrid with dwarf homozygous recessive parent producing tall and dwarf in the same equal proportion. This represents that the F1 hybrid are heterogenous.

Question 6 : Using a Punnett Square, workout the distribution of phenotypic features in the first filial generation after a cross between a homozygous female and a heterozygous male for a single locus.

Answer 6 : In guinea pigs, there is a cross carried out between a heterozygous male with black coat colour (Bb) and a female having white coat colour (bb). The male yields two types of gametes B and b whereas the female yields one type of gamete only, b. Therefore, the ratio of the genotype and phenotype in the progenies of F1 generation is in the same ratio, i.e., 1:1


Question 7 :
When a cross in made between tall plant with yellow seeds (TtYy) and tall plant with green seed (Ttyy), 

Answer 7 :

what proportions of phenotype in the offspring could be expected to be
(a) tall and green.
(b) dwarf and green
When a cross between a tall plant with yellow seeds and a tall plant with green seeds is carried out, the following is produced:
Three tall green plants
One dwarf green plant





Tall yellow

Tt Yy

Tall yellow


TT yy

Tall green

Tt yy

Tall green


Tt yy

Tall green

tt yy

Dwarf green


Tt Yy

Tall yellow

tt Yy

Dwarf yellow

Phenotype: Tall and green plant – 3

Dwarf and green plant – 1

Question 8 : Two heterozygous parents are crossed. If the two loci are linked what would be the distribution of phenotypic features in F1 generation for a dibybrid cross?

Answer 8 :

The co-existence of two or more genes in the same chromosome is termed as linkage. If the genes are located close to each other and on the same chromosome, they are inherited together and are referred to as linked genes. If two heterozygous parents exhibit linkage, then the outcome is as follows:
Parents BbLl x BbLl
Genotype Blue long Blue long
Phenotype in F1 in all the possible may exhibit parental characters as the genes are linked completely. With all the possible genotypes in F1 progeny can display blue long type of phenotype in the above-mentioned example. However, if there is an incomplete linkage, the parental combination will comparatively be more than the newer combinations which are less in number.

Question 9 : Briefly mention the contribution of T.H. Morgan in genetics.

Answer 9 :

The contributions of T.H. Morgan in the field of genetics is as follows:
He proposed and established that genes are positioned on the chromosomes
He discovered the basis for variations as a result of sexual reproduction
He discovered the concept of linkage and discriminated linked and unlinked genes
He stated the chromosomal theory of linkage
He carried out a study on sex-linked inheritance
Morgan stated chiasma type hypothesis demonstrating that the chiasma causes crossing over
He observed that the frequency of recombination between two linked genes is directly proportional          to the distance between them both
Proposed the theory of inheritance
He put forward the methodology for chromosome mapping
He carried out a study on mutation

Question 10 : What is pedigree analysis? Suggest how such an analysis, can be useful.

Answer 10 :

A pedigree is a record of inheritance of a specific genetic trait for two or more generations which is presented in the form of a diagram or family tree. Pedigree analysis is an analysis of several generations of a family which is used on human beings and domesticated animals.
Usefulness of pedigree analysis:
Serves as a powerful tool which can be used to trace the inheritance of a particular trait, disease or an abnormality
It is helpful for genetic counsellors to suggest couples about the possibility of having children with genetic abnormalities such as colour blindness, haemophobia, thalassaemia, sickle cell anaemia etc
The analysis is helpful in indicating the origination of a trait and its flow in ancestors
It is helpful in suggesting that Mendel’s principles can be applied to human genetics with some alteration such as quantitative inheritance, sex-related linkage and characters
Helpful in reasoning why marriage between close relatives is harmful
Helpful in extensive research in the field of medical science



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