Quantitative Inheritance

  • Richard Kowles


Many phenotypes of an organism are not entirely explained simply by Mendelian genetics. Mendelian traits are usually described as discrete variables. Plants are tall or short; seeds are yellow or green; a person is albino or with normal pig-mentation; the eyes of Drosophila are red or some other color. Another mode of inheritance is that responsible for traits displaying a continuous variation; that is, variables that can take any value over a given interval. The magnitude of such traits can be measured and plotted against the frequency of their occurrence in a population. The results will often follow a curve such as that depicted in Figure 6.1. The more common values are close to and on either side of the mean for the population. The rarer values depart more drastically from the mean in either direction. This type of symmetrical distribution is called a curve of normal distribution.


Quantitative Trait Locus Quantitative Trait Gene Pair Broad Sense Heritability Sample Problem 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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  1. Luria, S.E., and Delbruck, M. 1943. Mutations of bacteria from virus sensitivity to virus resistance. Genetics 28:491–511.PubMedGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2001

Authors and Affiliations

  • Richard Kowles
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of BiologySaint Mary’s University of MinnesotaWinonaUSA

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