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College of Cat Genetics: Seminar 1
by Patricia Turner


Solutions

       
    1. Why are the expressions Champion's blood and diluting out based upon misconceptions?  Are the characteristics of a kitten inherited in its blood?

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      Answer:  The expressions Champion's blood and diluting out are based upon misconceptions because they date from the times when it was believed that characteristics were inherited in the blood and were blended.  There is no such thing as blended inheritance and this was demonstrated by Gregor Mendel in his classic work with garden peas.  Some genes have very small effects and only change the characteristics of a cat when they are added to many other small genes.  This can give the impression of blended inheritance.  The characteristics of a kitten are inherited in the gametes or sex cells.
       

    3. It is stated that the cat's coded instructions govern the nature of both the chemical ingredients from which it is made and the nature of the chemical changes in its body during its life.  If the cat develops from a fertilized cell, in which part of the cell are the instructions carried?

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      Answer:  The instructions governing the nature of the chemical ingredients from which the cat is made and the nature of the chemical changes in its body during its life are carried in the nucleus of the cells by chromosomes inheirted from the parents.
       

    5. Why has the use of the symbol y (denoting the sex-linked colour gene producing the red and tortie varieties) been discontinued?

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      Answer: The use of the symbol y (once used to denote the sex-linked colour gene producing red) has been discontinued because there was so often confusion between it and the Y symbol for the Y sex chromosome and as the colour gene concerned is not recessive in inheritance the use of a lower case letter was not ideal.  The symbol O was proposed to replace it and is now in use in all formal genetic texts.  The name of the colour gene is now orange and not yellow.
       

    7. The gene producing extra toes (polydactylia) is symbolized as Pd.  Is this gene inherited as a recessive or as a dominant and how is this information given in its symbol?

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      Answer:  The gene symbolized Pd is inherited as a dominant and the information on its dominance is given by the use of a capital letter symbol (capital letters describe dominant genes and lower case letters describe recessives).