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Math Bench Probability and Statistics: Mice with Fangs - Intro to Punnett Squares

Author(s): Kaci Thompson1, Karen Nelson1

University of Maryland

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This is an online activity that provides an introduction to Punnett squares as a tool for visualizing genetic inheritance. The ratios of possible genotypes and phenotypes in offspring are considered. Both monohybrid and dihybrid crosses are examined.

Licensed under CC Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International according to these terms

Version 1.0 - published on 21 Aug 2018 doi:10.25334/Q4CB06 - cite this


In the MathBench module on probability, the Laws of Probability were discussed that can be applied to, well, just about anything - rolling dice or determining the probability of survival, or playing the stock market, or genetics, to name a few. In this module, we're going to talk about another approach to probability, which is much more specific to genetics, called Punnett Squares. Punnett Squares were invented by one Reginald Punnett, a British geneticist who also studied ribbon worms and played cricket with G. H. Hardy of Hardy-Weinberg fame, one of the true big cheeses in the genetics world.

In this module, you'll see how Punnett Squares are really just a graphical way of reproducing the basic rules of probability.

You'll also see how to predict the phenotypic outcome from a multi-loci genotypic cross  in other words, how to predict what the kids will look like.

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