# The Making of the Fittest: Natural Selection in Humans

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1 OVERVIEW MENDELIN GENETIC, PROBBILITY, PEDIGREE, ND CHI-QURE TTITIC This classroom lesson uses the information presented in the short film The Making of the Fittest: Natural election in Humans ( to take students through a series of questions pertaining to the genetics of sickle cell disease and its relationship to malaria resistance. We divided the questions into sections: Mendelian Genetics and Probability, Pedigrees, and Chi-quare tatistics. Within each section, the questions sequentially move from a basic level to a more advanced level in order to develop the skills of the students. KEY CONCEPT ND LERNING OBJECTIVE Having two of the same alleles of a given gene means an individual is homozygous; if the alleles are not identical, then the individual is heterozygous. The sickle cell allele arose as a random mutation in the hemoglobin gene. Individuals who are homozygous for the sickle cell allele have sickle cell disease; individuals who are homozygous for the normal hemoglobin allele do not have sickle cell disease but can contract malaria. Individuals who are heterozygous for the sickle cell allele are protected against malaria but do not get sickle cell disease. Heterozygous individuals have a mix of normal and abnormal hemoglobin molecules. tudents will be able to use Punnett squares to predict the frequencies of genotypes in the next generation based on the genotypes of the parents; understand the rules of probability as they relate to genetics problems; analyze pedigrees to deduce genotypes, phenotypes, and probabilities; and use the chi-square statistical analysis test to determine the significance of genetics data. CURRICULUM CONNECTION Curriculum tandards NG (pril 2013) H-L3-1, H-L3-2, H-L3-3, H-L4-2, H-L4-3, H-L4-4 L1., L2., L3., L3.B, L4.B, L4.C Common Core (2010) EL-Literacy.RT , EL-Literacy.RT , EL-Literacy.RT Math.Content.H-IC..1, Math.Content.H-MD.B.6 P Biology ( ) 1..2, 3..3, 3.C.1, 3.C.2, 4.C.1 IB Biology (2009) Topic 1, 4.1, 4.3, 5.4, 10.2 KEY TERM chi-square statistical analysis, codominance, dominant, genotype, hemoglobin, heterozygous, homozygous, incomplete dominance, independent assortment, malaria, Mendelian genetics, pedigree, phenotype, probability, recessive, red blood cells, sickle cell anemia, sickle cell disease TIME REQUIREMENT This lesson was designed to be completed within one to two 50-minute class periods if the chi-square statistics section is not included; if the chi-square statistics section is included, additional time may be required depending on the pace and background of the students. Published July 2012 Revised October Page 1 of 10

2 UGGETED UDIENCE This lesson is appropriate for high school biology (all levels including P and IB) and undergraduate introductory biology. PRIOR KNOWLEDGE tudents should have prior knowledge of the basics of Mendelian genetics (genotype, phenotype, homozygous, heterozygous, incomplete dominance, and codominance) and the rules of probability. They should also be familiar with how to draw and interpret pedigrees (including standard symbols used therein), use pedigrees to show family relationships, and analyze the pattern of inheritance of a particular trait. More-advanced students should have a working knowledge of the chi-square statistical analysis test. MTERIL critical values table TECHING TIP You could use this lesson and the story line of the short film as a culminating unit classroom assignment on genetics that ties together all levels of genetic analysis: Punnett squares, probability, pedigrees, and chi-square analysis. You may discuss with the class how sickle cell disease provides an interesting example of the arbitrary nature of dominance, incomplete dominance, and codominance. ickle cell disease, at an organismal level, is defined as an autosomal recessive disorder because one copy of Hb produces enough normal hemoglobin to prevent anemia. t the cellular level, regarding blood cell shape, the phenotype of the sickled red blood cell is incompletely dominant because heterozygotes can display some sickled red blood cells (RBCs) in low-oxygen environments. Finally, regarding hemoglobin at the molecular level, there is codominance. In heterozygotes, both Hb and Hb alleles are expressed. The chi-square statistics portion of this lesson is optional. If you teach a course in which chi-square analysis is not required, you may remove this section from this lesson; we have placed it on separate pages for this reason. NWER KEY MENDELIN GENETIC ND PROBBILITY i. If two people with sickle cell trait have children, what is the chance that a child will have normal RBCs in both high- and low-oxygen environments? What is the chance that a child will have sickle cell disease? Write the possible genotypes in the Punnett square. Normal RBCs in high- and low-oxygen environments 1/4 (25%) ickle cell disease 1/4 (25%) a. What is the chance that a child will carry the Hb gene but not have sickle cell disease? 1/2 (50%) b. What are the chances that these parents will have three children who are homozygous for normal RBCs? (how your work.) 1/4 1/4 1/4 = 1/64 (1.56%) Page 2 of 10

3 ii. c. What are the chances that these parents will have three children who have both normal and mutant hemoglobin beta chains? (how your work.) 1/2 1/2 1/2 = 1/8 (12.5%) d. What are the chances that all three of their children will show the disease phenotype? (how your work.) 1/4 1/4 1/4 = 1/64 (1.56%) e. What are the chances that these parents will have two children with sickle cell trait and one with sickle cell disease? (how your work.) 1/2 1/2 1/4 = 1/16 (6.25%) f. In the cross above, if you know that the child does not have sickle cell disease, what is the chance that the child has sickle cell trait? 2/3 (66.67%) (Note: Because you know the child does not have sickle cell disease, the child cannot have the genotype; thus, you can eliminate it from the Punnett square. The individual must be either or. There are 2 out of 3 chances that the individual will have the genotype.) n individual who has sickle cell trait has children with an individual who does not have the Hb allele. a. What are the genotypes of the parents? and b. In a Punnett square, show all the possible genotypes of their children. tate the genotype and phenotype ratios of the offspring. Genotype Ratio 50% (1/2) : 50% (1/2) Phenotype Ratio 50% (1/2) normal hemoglobin (normal RBCs):50% (1/2) normal and mutant hemoglobin (sickle cell trait) iii. c. What are the chances that any one of this couple s children will have sickle cell disease? 0% d. If this couple lives in the lowlands of East frica, what are the chances that one of their children would be resistant to malaria if exposed to the malaria parasite? 1/2 (50%) woman with sickle cell disease has children with a man who has sickle cell trait. nswer the following questions. a. What are the genotypes of the parents? and b. What is the genetic makeup of the gametes the mother can produce? c. What is the genetic makeup of the gametes the father can produce? or d. In the Punnett square, show all the possible genotypes of their children. Then summarize the genotype and phenotype ratios of the possible offspring. Genotype Ratio 50% (1/2) : 50% (1/2) Phenotype Ratio 50% (1/2) normal and mutant hemoglobin (sickle cell trait): 50% (1/2) mutant hemoglobin (sickle cell disease) Page 3 of 10

4 iv. e. What are the chances that any one of this couple s children will have sickle cell disease? 1/2 (50%) f. If this couple moves to the lowlands of East frica and has children, which of their children would be more likely to survive? Explain your answer. If this couple moves to the moist lowlands of East frica, the family would be exposed to the nopheles mosquito that transmits the Plasmodium parasite, which causes malaria. Children who have sickle cell disease () have a lethal disease and will be less likely to survive regardless of where they live. Children with sickle cell trait () have two advantages: they have a greater resistance to malaria, and they normally do not show symptoms of sickle cell disease. Therefore, heterozygotes are more likely to survive. In humans, blood type is a result of multiple alleles: I, I B, and i O. few simple rules of blood type genetics are that I is dominant over i O, I B is dominant over i O, and I I B are codominant. Two parents who are heterozygous for type blood and have sickle cell trait have children. nswer the following questions. a. What is the genotype of the parents? I i O b. What are the genetic makeups of all the possible gametes they can produce? I, I, i O, or i O c. Complete the dihybrid Punnett square to determine the frequency of the different phenotypes in the offspring. (Note: Consider blood type and normal versus mutant hemoglobin in the various phenotypes.) I I i o i o I I I I I I i o I i o I I I I I I i o I i o i o I i o I i o i o i o i o i o i o I i o I i o i o i o i o i o 3/16 (18.75%) Blood type, normal hemoglobin (normal RBCs) 3/8 (6/16, or 37.5%) Blood type, normal and mutant hemoglobin (sickle cell trait) 3/16 (18.75%) Blood type, mutant hemoglobin (sickle cell anemia) 1/16 (6.25%) Blood type O, normal hemoglobin (normal RBCs) 1/8 (2/16, or 12.5%) Blood type O, normal and mutant hemoglobin (sickle cell trait) 1/16 (6.25%) Blood type O, mutant hemoglobin (sickle cell anemia) v. Now try a different way of solving a dihybrid cross. Because of Mendel s (second) law of independent assortment, you can work with the blood type gene and the hemoglobin gene separately. et up two monohybrid crosses with the following parents: the mother is heterozygous for type B blood and has sickle cell trait, while the father has type B blood and also has sickle cell trait. I B i O Page 4 of 10

7 ix. Imagine that you are a genetic counselor, and a couple planning to start a family comes to you for information. Jerome was married before, and he and his first wife have a daughter with sickle cell disease. The brother of his current wife, Michaela, died of complications from sickle cell disease, but neither of her parents has the disease. a. Draw a pedigree representing this family. Be sure to clearly label Jerome and Michaela. Key J = Jerome M = Michaela b. What is the probability that Jerome and Michaela will have a baby with sickle cell disease? Note that neither Jerome nor Michaela has sickle cell disease. (how your work.) 2/3 1/4 = 2/12 = 1/6 (16.67%) Based on his child from his first marriage, Jerome is heterozygous () for the sickle cell allele. In order for Michaela and Jerome to have a child with sickle cell anemia, they must both be heterozygous, which would confer a 1/4 chance of having a child with the disease. However, based on the information available, Michaela has a 1/3 chance of being homozygous () normal and a 2/3 chance of being heterozygous (). Therefore, to calculate the probability of this combined event, the rule of multiplication must be applied (2/3 chance of Michaela being 1/4 chance of having an child). x. Natasha and Demarcus are planning on having children. Each has a sister with sickle cell disease. Neither Natasha nor Demarcus nor any of their parents have the disease, and none of them has been tested to see if they have sickle cell trait. a. Draw a pedigree representing this family. Be sure to clearly label Natasha and Demarcus. Key D = Demarcus N = Natasha b. Based on this incomplete information, calculate the probability that if this couple has a child, the child will have sickle cell disease. 2/3 2/3 1/4 = 4/36 = 1/9 (11.11%) imilar to Question 9, each parent has a 2/3 chance of being heterozygous (), and there is a 1/4 chance of having a child with the disease. Therefore, this is a combined event concerning its probability, so all values must be multiplied together. Page 7 of 10

8 CHI-QURE TTITIC xi. Multiple couples living in a small village in the eastern frican lowlands, all of whom are heterozygous for the Hb allele, have 500 children among them. Of these children, 139 are homozygous for Hb, 279 are heterozygous for Hb, and 82 suffer from sickle cell disease. re these data statistically significant? Explain using a chi-square statistical analysis test. Chi-quare Data Table Phenotype/Genotype Observed (o) Expected (e) (o e) (o e) 2 /e Normal RBC/ ickle cell trait/ ickle cell disease/ a. What is the chi-square value (χ 2 )? χ 2 = b. Calculate the degrees of freedom (df). df = 3 1 = 2 c. Using the critical values table (see page 12), determine the P value. P < 0.01 d. Interpret the P value as it relates to these data. Explain the significance. ince P < 0.05, the null hypothesis is rejected, which means that there is a statistically significant difference between the observed and expected data. Therefore, the difference between the observed and expected data is not solely due to chance. e. Which of the children have the greatest chance of survival? Explain why. Because these families live in a malaria hot spot in frica, namely the moist eastern frican lowlands, the children who are heterozygous for the sickle cell allele () have a selective advantage over both the homozygous normal hemoglobin () and the homozygous sickle cell anemia () genotypes. xii. uppose there are 50 couples with the same blood type and hemoglobin genotypes. They live on a small, isolated Pacific island on which very few mosquitoes have been identified. ll the individuals are heterozygous for both type blood and have sickle cell trait. The 50 couples had 224 children over the years. The children were all tested for blood type and for the presence of the sickle cell allele. re these data significant? Explain using a chi-square statistical analysis test. (Use the table below if you need assistance.) Chi-quare Data Table Phenotype Observed (o) Expected (e) (o e) (o e) 2 /e Type, normal RBCs Type O, normal RBCs Type, sickle cell trait Type O, sickle cell trait Type, sickle cell disease Type O, sickle cell disease Page 8 of 10

9 a. What is χ 2? χ 2 = b. Calculate df. df = 6 1 = 5 c. Using the critical values table, determine the P value. P < 0.05 (0.025 < P < 0.01) d. Interpret the P value as it relates to these data. Explain the significance. ince P < 0.05, the null hypothesis is rejected, which suggests that there is a statistically significant difference between the observed and expected data. Therefore, the difference between the observed and expected data is not solely due to chance. e. From what you know about hemoglobin, sickle cell disease, and blood type, what selection pressure is acting on this population of children and causing the null hypothesis to be rejected? Explain your answer. (Hint: Look at the actual differences between the observed and expected numbers.) This population of individuals is isolated on a small Pacific island where very little quality health care is available. Therefore, there is selection against the children with sickle cell disease. The presence of this selection pressure skews the observed numbers from the expected values, causing the null hypothesis to be rejected, which suggests that something other than chance is acting on the population. In this case, that thing is the selection against the genotype. f. Due to the increase in global travel and the prevalence of invasive species, the nopheles mosquito carrying the malaria parasite was inadvertently introduced to this isolated Pacific island. researcher, 100 years from the present day, decides to complete a follow-up study and monitors another 50 couples who are all heterozygous for type blood and have sickle cell trait. These couples had 136 children. Based on the introduction of the nopheles mosquito carrying the malaria parasite, predict scientifically logical observed numbers of children for each genotype possibility and complete a chi-square statistical analysis test. ample data: tudent predictions for the observed numbers (o) will vary. The predicted observed numbers should show lower numbers for offspring with both normal RBCs and with sickle cell disease than the expected numbers, as well as higher numbers of offspring with sickle cell trait than expected. dditionally, the 1:4 type O:type blood ratios should be maintained. The expected numbers should be exactly as written in the data table below. Chi-quare Data Table: ample Data Phenotype Predicted Observed (o) Expected (e) (o e) (o e) 2 /e Type, normal RBCs Type O, normal RBCs Type, sickle cell trait Type O, sickle cell trait Type, sickle cell disease Type O, sickle cell disease i. What is your predicted chi-square value (χ 2 )? nswers will vary depending on the values the students choose. ample data: χ 2 = ( χ 2 should be greater than the value in Question 12a. ii. Calculate df. df = 6 1 = 5 iii. Using the critical values table, determine the predicted P value. P < 0.01 iv. From your predicted numbers, do you accept or reject the null hypothesis? Reject Page 9 of 10

10 v. Based on what you know about hemoglobin, sickle cell disease, blood type, and malaria, what selection pressures are acting on this population of children? Explain your answer. nswers will vary; however, the predicted answers should be along the following lines: The isolated population sampled here is facing selection pressures caused by both limited health care as it relates to sickle cell disease and the introduction of malaria through the nopheles mosquito, which carries the malaria-causing parasite. Therefore, the deviation of the observed numbers from the expected numbers is larger than it was from the first scenario due to the presence of three selection pressures. First, the sickle cell disease genotype () is strongly selected against; second, the normal () genotype is selected against due to the higher susceptibility to malaria infection. Finally, the data suggest that there is selection for the sickle cell trait () genotype because these individuals do not have sickle cell disease and are more resistant to malaria. UTHOR nn Brokaw, Rocky River High chool, Ohio FIELD TETER Marjorie Davis, Mount aint Joseph cademy; David Knuffke, Deer Park High chool; Mark Little, Broomfield High chool; Dawn Norton, Minnetonka High chool Page 10 of 10

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