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G E N E T I C S-I

MODULE-10

Maternal inheritance-10.2

GENETIC MATERNAL EFFECTS


G E N E T I C S-I
LEARNING OUTCOMES
• Define the term maternal effect and clearly explain the
underlying mechanism of inheritance involved using
appropriate examples.

• Distinguish between maternal effect and extra-chromosomal


inheritance.

• Distinguish between diminishing and non-diminishing


maternal effects.
G E N E T I C S-I
Maternal effects
• Maternal effects - are modified phenotypic effects caused
by the transmission of maternal products to the progeny
through the egg, thus disguising the true genotype of the
progeny

– Diminishing effects

– Non-diminishing effects
G E N E T I C S-I
Diminishing effects
• Diminishing effects- Modified phenotype that results from
maternal transmission of nuclear gene products to the
progeny

– Temporary

– Superseded in time by the phenotype based on the


progeny’s genotype

– Maternally inherited gene products disintegrate and


replaced by gene products of the progeny.
G E N E T I C S-I
Non-diminishing effects

• Non-diminishing effects- Modified phenotype that results


from maternal transmission of nuclear gene products to the
progeny

– lasts throughout the life of the individual and is hence


permanent or non-diminishing (lasts 1 generation) for that
individual (not for all subsequent generations).

– True genotype is revealed in next generation.


G E N E T I C S-I
Diminishing effects in Ephestia kuhniella
brown
• Eye pigment
in Ephestia
kuehniella red
(meal moth;
flour moth)

Early stages
G E N E T I C S-I
Male Female Female Male
Aa x aa Aa x aa

1 Aa : 1 aa 1 Aa : 1 aa
brown red larvae All brown larvae

After some time


1 Aa : 1 aa
1 brown : 1 red
• Gene A (nuclear gene) - AA or Aa:
– converts kynurenine brown pigment
– Converts normal red eyes to brown eyes
– Reciprocal diff. because of maternal effects (although A is a nuclear gene)
G E N E T I C S-I
Non-diminishing effects: Limnaea peregra (snail) shell

All progenies are dextral Progenies are sinistral in life


even though they have dextral
genotype.
G E N E T I C S-I
Coiling in the snail, Limnaea peregra.
Male Female Female Male
DD x dd DD x dd
Dextral Sinistral Dextral Sinistral
Dd (sinistral) Dd (dextral)

Self Self

1 DD : 2 Dd : 1 dd 1DD : 2 Dd : 1 dd
All dextral (mother’s genotype) All dextral (mother’s genotype)

• Gene D (nuclear gene)


– DD or Dd: dextral (rightward) coiling of snail shells.
– dd: sinistral (leftward) coiling
– Progeny shell coiling is that of its mother’s genotype (not phenotype).
– Reciprocal differences because of maternal effects
G E N E T I C S-I
Explanation for non-diminishing effects:

• Maternal effect transmitted through the egg initiates


cleavage (cutting) of the zygote in a particular
orientation.

• Once coiling is initiated in Limnaea peregra, even if


the substance is replaced by true genotype, coiling
cannot be reversed.

• Hence the term: non-diminishing effect.

• The true genotype is revealed in the next generation.