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Who’s your mama? What is in the cytoplasm?

• The transmission of cytoplasm differs • What is in the cytoplasm that could contain
between sex cells DNA?
Cytoplasmic inheritance – Male contribution: Sperm or pollen transfer – Mitochondria, chloroplasts
little or no cytoplasm to the egg • Endosymbiotic hypothesis:
– Female contribution: Egg contributes almost – Free living prokaryotes ancestors of
January 18 all of the cytoplasm to the zygote chloroplasts and mitochondria invaded plant
and animal cells but provide useful function
and so a symbiotic relationship developed
over time

Organelle chromosomes Organelle chromosomes Fungi

• A zygote inherits its organelles from the • The cells of fungi may
have many mitochondria
cytoplasm of the egg: Maternal inheritance (but not chloroplasts)
• The pattern of inheritance is not • Neurospora crassa like
associated with meiosis or mitosis many fungi is haploid and
produces spores
because the organelles are in the • This fungus is a member
cytoplasm not the nucleus of the ascomycetes and
• Organelles (Chloroplasts and produces ascospores as
the products of meiosis
mitochondria) have circular chromosomes
Text p.104

Neurospora crassa Neurospora “sex”

• Mating type is a simple
form of sex
• Mating types are
determined by two alleles
of a single gene: MAT-A
and MAT-a.
• Crosses between the two
haploid mating types
produces diploid
meiocytes then

Reciprocal crosses Which parent is ”female”? “Females”: give cytoplasm
• Reciprocal crosses of wild type Neurospora with • Mitochondria in the
a mutant for growth called poky first cross are from
• The fungi are also carrying either ad+ or ad- (ad the cytoplasm of the
is a nuclear gene for ability to grow on adenine parent that has a
deficient medium) poky phenotype

“Females”: give cytoplasm “Females”: give cytoplasm

• Mitochondria in the
second cross are
from the cytoplasm of
the female that has a
normal phenotype
• Mitochondria in the first cross are from the cytoplasm of
the parent that has a poky phenotype
• Mitochondria in the second cross are from the cytoplasm
of the female that has a normal phenotype
• Note the nuclear gene ad is a 1:1 ratio ad+ :ad- as

Nuclear genes Cytoplasmic or Extranuclear Chloroplasts

• Non-Mendelian inheritance pattern • Green plants have
• The results of reciprocal crosses differs chloroplasts in their
depending on one parent in every cells
generation • The chromosomes of
• All progeny both male and female chloroplasts are
resemble one of the parents (compare this circular
to sex-linkage of nuclear genes)
• Extranuclear/cytoplasmic genes cannot be
mapped to chromosomes
Text p.55-57

Results of crossing flowers Egg cell ♀ Pollen Zygote (2n)
cell ♂

Phenotype of branch Phenotype of branch Phenotype of progeny

bearing eggs (♀) bearing pollen parent
parent (♂)
White White White
White Green White
White White Variegated White
Green White Green
Green Green Green
Green Variegated Green
Variegated Green Variegated, green,
Variegated Green Variegated, green,
Variegated Variegated Variegated, green,
white, Text p.57

Homoplastic Cytoplasmic segregation Cytoplasm of variegated plants

Variegated :



• Homoplastic: genetically identical organelles

• Heteroplastic: genetically mixed organelles
– Also known as cytohets or heteroplasmons
Text p.57

Cytoplasmic segregation Human mitochondrial genes

• Always inherited
• Mutations in
mitochondrial genes can
give rise to disease if they
accumulate, by
cytoplasmic segregation
or random drift, to such
an extent that the affect
cell function.

Text p.105

How is this disorder inherited? A human mitochondrial disease Plants: monoecious
• Monoecy: male and
female flowers are
separated e.g.
• Tassels have pollen
• A child inherits its mitochondria from the cytoplasm of the egg: (♂)
Maternal inheritance
• So the condition is always passed on through the mother never the • Ear shoots have the
father egg (♀)
• Occasional unaffected children of an affected mother probably
reflect the random assortment segregation in gamete-forming tissue.

Cytoplasm male sterility Cytoplasmic male sterility Cytoplasmic male sterility

• Restorer of fertility R is a dominant nuclear gene • Since Restorer of fertility R is a dominant nuclear gene:
• Cytoplasmic male sterility in maize is a
• R_ male fertility even when cells are homoplastic for • ½ of the progeny will be Rr and male fertile even though
mitochondrial trait, sterility results from mitochondrial male sterility (s) cells are homoplastic for mitochondrial male sterility (s)
mitochondrial plasmids (circular DNA in • Male sterility if rr AND homoplastic for s • ½ of the progeny will be male sterile since they have rr
the mitochondria) • If rr and normal mitochondria (+) then plant is fertile AND are homoplastic for s
♀ ♂ ♀ ♂
• The inheritance of mitochondrial alleles is + s s
s s
maternal rr X RR
rr X Rr

s + s s
• But the expression depends on the s

Male sterile Male fertile Male sterile Male fertile

nuclear genotype
s s s s
s s
Rr Rr rr
Text ch.3 Male fertile
s s ½ Male fertile s ½ Male sterile

Plants: hermaphrodites Plants: dioecious Dioecious plant

• Many plant species of conifers and angiosperms • Many plants are dioecious: individual
are hermaphrodite: having both male and female plants are either female or male
• Sex determination in the majority
dioecious plants is by sex chromosomes
• Not all dioecious plants have non-identical
chromosomes and those that do have the
XY system where the heterogametic sex is
male, producing anthers only.

Text p.49

Sex limited traits
• Nuclear autosomal genes that are
expressed only in one sex
– Secondary sex characters
– Milk production
– Breast development in humans
– Male and female plumage in birds

Male Female
Text ch.3

Course Overview
Week Topic Chapter
1 Course objectives and Introduction to genetics Ch. 1 & Ch. 2
2 Human Pedigrees Ch. 2
3 Patterns of Inheritance: sex-linkage Ch. 2
4 Chromosomal basis of inheritance Ch. 3
5 Changes in chromosome number Ch. 15
6 Gene Mapping Ch. 4 (Ch. 16)
7 Gene to Phenotype Ch. 6
8 Modified Mendelian ratios Ch. 6
9 Model organisms and mutants Ch. 6 (Ch. 16)
10 Genetics of Plant Development (Arabidopsis) Ch. 18
11 Genetics of Animal Development (Drosophila) Ch. 18
12 Behaviour Genetics/Quantitative genetics Ch. 16 + papers

• Tutorial Quizzes/Assignments worth a total
of 15%
• 4 Term Tests worth a total of 50%:
– January 30