Multiple Allele Traits in Rabbit Coat Color

rabbit worksheet

Rabbits have a variety of colors that cannot be easily interpreted with simple genetics and Punnett squares. Oregon State University has an entire series devoted to explaining the genetics of rabbits. For the purpose of a basic biology class in high school, I made a worksheet that focuses on the multiple alleles that control 4 coat colors: black/brown, gray (chinchilla), Himalayan, and albino.

Students will examine the genotypes of rabbits, which uses superscripts to denote each color variation. This is new to most beginning students who are only familiar with the double letter format of Mendelian genetics (Aa x Aa).

As students progress through the worksheet, the examples and problems become more difficult. I tell students that one of the most challenging thing is to keep track of all the superscript letters. Good penmanship is a plus!

My honors students managed this worksheet, but I also introduce them to a simpler format when studying blood types. Some students actually enjoy the challenge!

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