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Biology LibreTexts

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

  • 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