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Biology LibreTexts

5: Dragon Genetics

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  • This activity explores the relationship between genotype and phenotype, using both sex-linked and autosomal dominant and recessive traits. By manipulating alleles (genotype), you create corresponding changes in the dragon's physical appearance (phenotype). There are two activities for students to explore with visualizations. Additionally, this kit includes two teacher guides for additional resources and feedback on the setup and delivery of this curriculum.

    • 5.1: Dragon Genetics Protocol (Part 1)
      In this activity, you will study the patterns of inheritance of multiple genes in (imaginary) dragons. These dragons have two pairs of homologous chromosomes in each cell. You will see that since genes are carried on chromosomes, the patterns of inheritance are determined by the behavior of chromosomes during meiosis and fertilization.
    • 5.2: Dragon Genetics Protocol (Part 2)
      In this activity, you and a partner will work together to produce a baby dragon. You will simulate meiosis and fertilization, the biological processes by which the parents' genes are passed on to a baby. To begin, we will review meiosis and fertilization for dragons that have only one chromosome with a single gene.
    • 5.3: Dragon Genetics Teacher's Preparation Notes
      In this simulation, activity students mimic the processes of meiosis and fertilization to investigate the inheritance of multiple genes and then use their understanding of concepts such as dominant/recessive alleles, incomplete dominance, and epistasis to interpret the results of the simulation. After the introduction of classical genetics, this activity can be used as a culminating activity or serve as a formative assessment to identify any areas of confusion that require further clarification.

    Also, the Concord Consortium has a dynamic simulation regarding this experiment that expands the content—Geniverse is free, web-based software for high school biology that engages students in exploring heredity and genetics by breeding and studying virtual dragons. Interactive models, powered by real genes, enable students to do simulated experiments, generate realistic and meaningful genetic data and win star ratings for efficient experimentation. Students can sign up for 4 weeks free or play as a guest.