Skip to main content
Biology LibreTexts

1.S: Overview, DNA, and Genes (Summary)

  • Page ID
    3992
  •  

    • Mendel demonstrated that heredity involved discrete, heritable factors that affected specific traits.
    • A gene can be defined abstractly as a unit of inheritance.
    • The ability of DNA from bacteria and viruses to transfer genetic information into bacteria demonstrated that DNA is the genetic material.
    • DNA is a double helix made of two anti-parallel strands of bases on a sugar-phosphate backbone.
    • Specific bases on opposite strands pair through hydrogen bonding, ensuring complementarity of the strands.
    • The Central Dogma explains how DNA dictates heritable traits.
    • Not all DNA in an organism contains genes.
    • Model organisms accelerate the use of genetics in basic and applied research in biology, agriculture and medicine.

    Key Terms

    blending inheritance

    particulate inheritance

    Mendel

    gene

    allele

    trait

    P, F1, F2

    Griffith

    Avery, MacLeod, & McCarty

    Hershey and Chase

    Meselson & Stahl

    DNase

    proteinase

    35S

    32P

    bacteriophage

    semi-conservative

    conservative

    dispersive

    E. coli

    Nitrogen-14

    Nitrogen-15

    heavy vs light

    CsCl gradient

     

    Beadle & Tatum

    auxotroph

    prototroph

    metabolic pathway

    Neurospora crassa

    Chargaff’s Rules

    Watson and Crick

    DNA bases

    sugar-phosphate backbone

    anti-parallel

    complementary

    hydrogen bond

    minor groove

    major groove

    adenine

    cytosine

    thymine

    guanine

    Central Dogma

    transcription

    reverse transcription

    translation

    RNA

    prion

    one-gene:one-enzyme

    minimal medium

    complete medium

    arginine

    genetic screen

    nuclear genome

    c-value paradox

    model organism

    Saccharomyces cerevisiae

    Caenorhabditis elegans

    Drosophila melanogaster

    Mus musculus

    Danio rerio

    Arabidopsis thaliana

    Escherichia coli

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Contributors