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Dominant Allele: B -> brown eyes
Recessive Allele: b -> blue eyes
Alleles: Different versions of genes
An allele is one of two or more versions of a gene. There are two kinds of alleles for each trait. You inherit two alleles for each gene - one from each parent. The dominant allele is represented with a capital letter. The recessive allele is represented with a lowercase letter.
Brown eyes are dominant. Brown eyes are represented with a B
Blue eyes are recessive. Blue eyes are represented with a b
Your alleles can be homozygous dominant (both dominant), heterozygous (one dominant, one recessive), or homozygous recessive (both recessive).
Homozygous dominant: BB
A person with homozygous dominant alleles would have brown eyes.
A person with heterozygous alleles would have brown eyes since they carry the dominant brown eye allele.
Homozygous recessive: bb - blue
A person with homozygous recessive alleles would have blue eyes.
Punnett squares measure the probability of a genetic outcome based on a genetic cross. They can't tell you what what will be, but they can tell you what could be. A simple Punnett square like the one to the right crosses two genotypes.
Genotypes: the alleles carried by an organism
As you can see in this example, we get two possible genotypes from this cross. Each square represents a 25% chance of the result occurring, but in this case we only get two different results. Therefore, there is a 50% chance of a Bb result, and a 50% chance of a bb result. These genotypes give us two possible phenotypes. Phenotypes are observable characteristics in an individual. In this particular cross, the two phenotypes we get are a 50% chance of the offspring having brown eyes, and a 50% chance of the offspring having blue eyes.