EEB214H1 Lecture 3: Gemmules

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Ecology & Evolutionary Biology
Jennifer Carpenter

EEB214—Lecture 3 Gemmules: Darwin suggested that the environment can modify our traits and our gemmules • Does blending inheritance fit with all of what you know about how traits are inherited? o a trait can appear that the parent doesn’t have anymore o you aren’t this blend of your parent for all traits ▪ e.g., red hair o traits can be physical and behavioural o If natural selection is picking extreme value [tallest person have highest fitness], their offspring can’t ever be like them. Things are going to shift • How can traits re-appear after multiple generations? [e.g., hair colour] • regression towards the mean: shifts towards the middle • Huge issue in 1950s and 60s, how can selection do it? • 2 major criticism of how it works • Francis Galton put the idea of gemmules to the test o he took blood from a black rabbit and injected it into white rabbit o we would expect a mix of black and white rabbits but what he saw was he got all white bunnies o the blood always looked like his actual parents and not the blood donor ▪ could not mix blood types ▪ gemmules passing through the blood doesn’t work • Darwin never stated the gemmules were pass through the blood, but it was passed through the body somehow Gregor Mendel • Austrian monk • he did not believe in blending inheritance and he looked to math to test another hypothesis • he grew
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