P Generation: Definition & Offspring

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  • 0:03 Gregor Mendel & the P…
  • 0:55 What Does the P Generation Do?
  • 2:23 Why Is this Important?
  • 2:55 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Jeremy Battista
The work of Gregor Mendel left us with important discoveries in the world of genetics. In this lesson, we'll discuss his ideas in regards to to the P generation in crosses.

Background: Gregor Mendel and the P Generation

Gregor Mendel was a monk who crossbred pea plants in order to better study inheritance patterns in living organisms. He was not recognized for his work until after his death, but he's looked upon as the father of modern genetics.

Mendel is responsible for much of what we understand about how traits are inherited and furthermore how inheritance and genetics work. When you look at his experiments, you'll notice a number of different terms, the first of which is P generation.

The P generation is the start of Mendel's work on inheritance, or receiving genetic qualities by transmission from parent to offspring. Basically it refers to traits or genes that are passed from a parental generation to its offspring. Wait, did I just say parent? Yes I did, because the P generation is just that.....the parental generation.

What Exactly Does the P Generation Do?

In Mendel's experiments, he would cross two true breeding plants, that is plants that have self pollinated and will now only express one particular trait, such as color. He would choose two true breeding plants that would express different versions of one trait and cross pollinate them. These plants then became the P generation, and their offspring were referred to as the F1 generation. He would then breed the F1 generation in order to create an F2 generation, and so on.

What Mendel was able to find was that certain traits were dominant to others. By starting with two true breeding plants, he was able to show that a genotype, or genetic combination, would change in the F1 generation but still show the same phenotype, or observed trait.

For example if one plant had blue flowers and the other had pink, the genotype of the blue might be BB and the genotype of the pink might be bb. When they cross, you end up with all Bb but they express the B only (blue flowers). This is a simplistic example; it's really more complicated than that.

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