The Real Genes of Geniverse

The genetics of Geniverse drakes is based firmly on the real-world genetics of model organisms. The drake genes and traits have been compiled from the actual genes and associated traits of anole lizard, mouse, and fruit fly. The genes for forelimbs, wings, color and other drake traits are genes that are involved in the development of those traits in real organisms. So drakes, while fictional and fancilful, possess traits that have a basis in real biology.  In fact, since the genes of humans are similar to the genes of the model organisms we use in real life to study genetics (e.g., mouse and fruit fly), the genes of the Geniverse drakes are quite similar to human genes. 

In addition, the interactive models that students use to do virtual experiments in Geniverse are powered by a genetics engine that accurately simulates the same patterns of inheritance that operate in real life, in humans as well as model organisms. Student who learn with Geniverse are learning to look at and analyze experimental results that would be obtained from these genes in a laboratory.

Want to learn more about the genes in Geniverse?  Talk to us in the Discussion Forum for genetics and we can point you to all the details in DracoBase, our own genome browser.  

Here's an example...

Heritable Phenotype: wingless
Nomenclature Genomic Location
Symbol w Chromosome 1
Name wingless Linkage map 70 cM
Species Dracomimus familiaris Genome Coordinates unknown


Summary Information
Phenotype: The wingless gene affects wing development in drakes. Homozygotes for the wingless allele (w/w) lack externally visible wings entirely. The skeleton of wingless drakes has a vestigial dorsal shoulder and a remnant of the proximal wing bone.


Drake Drake
W/* w/w

Phenotype Terms: 
limb/digits/tail phenotype 
skeleton phenotype


Alleles and Phenotypes
Allele Summary
W Presumptive wild-type allele
w Recessive allele
Genotype Phenotype
W/W Normal wings
W/w Normal wings
w/w wingless

Gene Model: Wnt1

Nomenclature Genomic Location
Symbol Wnt1 Chromosome 1
Name Proto-oncogene Wnt-1 Linkage map unknown
Species Dracomimus familiaris Genome Coordinates 1: 70 Mbp


Molecular Function

Ligand for members of the frizzled family of seven transmembrane receptors. In some developmental processes, is also a ligand for the coreceptor RYK, thus triggering Wnt signaling. Probable developmental protein. May be a signaling molecule important in CNS development. Is likely to signal over only few cell diameters. Proeminent role in the induction of the mesencephalon and cerebellum. May play a crucial role in the morphogenesis of the neural tube and/or the early stages of CNS development.