Geniverse Learning Goals

Geniverse learning goals are divided among three curriculum strands: Inheritance, Meiosis and DNA-to-Trait.  These three strands are interwoven throughout the game.

Inheritance

Students will know that…

  1. Genes exist in different forms called alleles.  There are usually more than two alleles for a gene, resulting in more than two phenotypes.

  2. There are traits that result from a single gene and others that result from the interaction between multiple genes.

  3. For some traits primarily influenced by a single gene, some alleles are dominant to others.  A dominant allele will mask the presence of the recessive allele in external phenotype.

  4. For some traits primarily influenced by a single gene, both alleles will have some effect, with neither being completely dominant.

  5. Some traits show patterns of inheritance that follow the inheritance of sex chromosomes because those genes are on a sex chromosome.

  6. Specific combinations of parents’ alleles result in characteristic patterns in the proportions of offspring.

Students will be able to...

  1. Predict possible genotypes for an organism based on its phenotype.  

  2. Predict an organism’s phenotype based on its genotype.  

  3. Use a test cross to determine unknown genotypes.  

  4. Use parental genotypes to predict the set of offspring phenotypes and their approximate proportions.  

  5. Use the numerical patterns in the phenotypes of the offspring to determine the genotype of the parent(s).  

Meiosis

Students will know that…

  1. Organisms normally receive two copies of each chromosome, one from each biological parent.  This occurs when an egg and sperm join (fertilization).

  2. Meiosis reduces the genetic information in each cell by half; the resulting cells are gametes (egg & sperm).

  3. During meiosis, one member of each pair of chromosomes moves randomly into a gamete.

  4. Genes that are on different chromosomes assort independently during meiosis (as Mendel observed).

  5. In some animals, sex is determined by the combination of sex chromosomes received from the parents.  For example, in humans females are XX while males are XY. (Sex determination in drakes is modeled after humans.)

  6. Together, meiosis and sexual reproduction explain the similarities and differences observed between parents and offspring and between siblings.

  7. During meiosis, paired chromosomes swap information through crossing-over events.

  8. In sexually reproducing organisms, independent assortment and recombination of chromosomes lead to great variety of gametes.

  9. When the alleles of two different genes are on the same chromosome, crossing over allows for independent assortment to occur.

Students will be able to...

  1. Use a model to show how chromosomes cross over and exchange genetic information.  

  2. Explain how the combination of crossing over and independent assortment provides genetic variation in offspring and how it causes offspring to look similar to but different than their parents and siblings.  

  3. Show the crossing-over events that were necessary to create a given genotype from two known parental chromosomes.  

  4. Use a model to generate gametes with a set of chromosomes that can generate a specific offspring phenotype.  

  5. Use a model to explain that some offspring phenotypes are only possible with recombination.  

DNA-to-Trait

Students will know that…

  1. Genes are segments of DNA that encode information critical for the development and function of an organism.

  2. The information in genes is transcribed into RNA, and for most genes, then translated into proteins.

  3. Proteins are long chains of amino acids, encoded by DNA, that fold in a way that allows them to perform specific functions.  

  4. Mutations in protein encoding regions of DNA may or may not result in changes in the amino acid sequence of the protein.

  5. Mutations that result in a change in the amino acid sequence may result in a protein product with an altered function.

  6. Changes to any of the proteins responsible for a trait may result in an alternative trait (phenotype).

  7. The interaction of many various proteins contribute to an organism’s phenotype.

Students will be able to...

  1. Transcribe a DNA sequence into RNA.  

  2. Translate RNA into an amino acid sequence.  

  3. Describe the relationship between changes in DNA, protein sequences, and traits.  

  4. Explain why different alleles, producing different proteins, alter an organism’s phenotype.  

  5. Explain how particular changes in the sequence of a gene may cause a partial or complete loss of the function of the encoded protein.