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Heredity/Inheritance Patterns

Heredity/Inheritance Patterns

The genetic transmission of traits

Heredity refers to the genetic transmission of traits from parents to offspring. Heredity helps explain why children tend to resemble their parents, as well as how a genetic disease runs in a family. Some genetic conditions are caused by mutations in a single gene. These conditions are usually inherited in one of several straightforward patterns, including autosomal dominant, autosomal recessive, X-linked dominant, X-linked recessive, codominant, and mitochondrial inheritance patterns. Complex disorders and multifactorial disorders are caused by a combination of genetic and environmental factors. These disorders may cluster in families, but do not have a clear-cut pattern of inheritance.

Materials for Heredity/Inheritance Patterns


Each Organism's Traits are Inherited from a Parent through Transmission of DNA

Description: The history of the discovery of chromosomes, DNA, genes, and inheritance

Gene Inheritance and Transmission

Description: Articles on heredity, the transmission of genetic traits, and the studies which led to our knowledge of these topics

What are the different ways in which a genetic condition can be inherited?

Description: An overview of ways in which a single gene disorder can be inherited

What is Inheritance?

Description: Inheritance is the process by which genetic information is passed on from parent to child. This is why members of the same family tend to have similar characteristics.


Dog Breeding

Description: Practice breeding dogs to get a puppy with certain single and multigenic traits


Description: Game-like software that teaches concepts of heredity, meiosis and the pathway from DNA to trait

Michael's Inside Scoop!

Description: A short activity that explores basic concepts of heredity

Modern Genetics

Description: Students breed dragons to learn concepts of modern genetics

Interactive Tutorials

Children Resemble Their Parents

Description: Information, videos, interactive tutorials, and animations on genetic traits

Heredity - Genetics

Description: Video and practice problems teaching core concepts of genetics, including DNA replication, transcription, translation, and genetic inheritance

Life Science

Description: Videos and practice problems teaching core concepts of life science, including the structure and function of cells, cellular reproduction, heredity, evolution and biodiversity

Teacher Resources

Basic Probability and Chi-Squared Tests (Lesson Plans/Lesson Activities)

Description: An expert authored advanced in-class exercise teaching critical skills for classic genetic analysis, including probability, making predictions, and assessment

DNA from the Beginning

Description: An animated primer of 75 experiments that made modern genetics

Gene You: Genetics and Inheritance

Description: Lesson guides, videos, slides, and other teaching resources on genes and inheritance

Genetic Lesson Plan Ideas

Description: An alphabetical list of lesson plans that teach genetic concepts

Harry Potter's World

Description: Activities for teaching basic genetic concepts as well as characteristics of complex traits

Heredity (Lesson Plans/Lesson Activities)

Description: Lesson guides and an activity on heredity


Introduction to Inherited Traits

Description: What determines the physical and biological characteristics of an individual organism, and how are these traits passed from one generation to the next? In this presentation, Dr. McNeel describes the basics of genetic inheritance.

Molecular Basis of Heredity: Part 1. Nucleic Acids

Description: Discover the fundamentals of DNA, RNA, nucleic acids and their roles within cells, with Raye Lynn Alford, PhD.

Molecular Basis of Heredity: Part 2. Genomes

Description: Raye Lynn Alford, PhD, explains the structures and functions of genomes, and discusses how chromosomal changes lead to certain genetic disorders.

Molecular Basis of Heredity: Part 3. Genetic Variation

Description: Join Raye Lynn Alford, PhD, as she explains the molecular basis of genetic variation, including mechanisms and types of DNA sequence variations, and patterns of inheritance of genetic disorders.