Genetics & Biotechnology
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17 slides

Genetics & Biotechnology

MU Module 11

Applied Genetics

Section 1

Selective Breeding

  • Selective breeding occurs when we (humans) breed organisms with certain traits to produce offspring with desired traits.


  • A method of selective breeding

  • Crossing parents with different traits to produce offspring that are hybrids of the parents

  • The goal is to get certain traits in the hybrids that aren’t in either parent

  • Can take a long time (expensive)


  • A method of selective breeding

  • Closely related organisms with desired traits are bred to keep the desired traits and remove unwanted traits in the offspring

  • Not all undesired traits may be removed - sometimes harmful recessive traits show up in the offspring populations

Test Cross

  • Genotype = alleles (versions) of a gene present in the genome of the individual

  • When an individual's genotype is not known, a test cross can be used

  • Test cross = unknown individual is crossed with a homozygous recessive for the desired trait

DNA Technology

Section 2

Genetic Engineering

  • An alternative to selective breeding

  • Manipulate the DNA to select for traits in offspring

  • Adding DNA from another organism

DNA Tools

  • Goal: isolate the gene from the genome and manipulate the DNA (decrease/increase expression of that gene)

  • Restriction enzymes = enzymes that cut DNA into fragments by recognizing certain DNA sequences

DNA Tools

  • Gel electrophoresis = separates DNA fragments by size

  • DNA fragments are loaded into a gel

  • An electrical current causes the negatively charged DNA to move through the gel

  • Smaller DNA fragments travel further/faster than larger fragments

Recombinant DNA Technology

Section 3

Recombinant DNA

  • Once the fragments of DNA (genes) have been cut out of the genome and separated, we can combine them with other fragments/genomes

  • Once combined, we can replicate the recombinant DNA for further study

Gene Cloning

  • A technique for replicating recombinant DNA

  • The DNA is recombined in a plasmid (withing a bacterium)

  • When the bacterium replicates, so does the plasmid (and the gene)


  • Polymerase Chain Reaction is another method of replicating the gene

  • PCR can make multiple copies of 1 gene from a single template

DNA Sequencing

  • A tool used to study the isolated gene

  • Once the sequence (A,G,T,Cs) of a gene is known, its function can be inferred by comparing it to known genes with similar sequences


Scetion 4


  • Biotechnology is the application of genetic engineering to genetic problems

  • Organisms that contain DNA/genes from other organisms are called transgenic organisms

  • Animals are commonly used to study diseases

  • Plants are commonly used to study disease and pest resistance

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