Albino Corn Genetics

Objective: In this lab, you will germinate and grow F2 corn seeds to determine the inheritance pattern of the albino trait and determine what the P and F2 generation's genotype must have been.

Materials: Genetic Corn Seed, beakers, paper towels

Background information:

The corn seeds used in this experiment are the F2 generation. They are the offspring of two true-breeding lines. By allowing the seeds to germinate, you can detemine the ratios of albino versus normal seeds and use that to determine the genotypes and inheritance pattern of the trait being studied.

Your goal is to discover whether the albino gene is dominant or recessive and to reconstruct the crosses from the P generation to the F1 generation to the F2 generation.


growing corn

1. Obtain 4-8 corn seeds from your teacher, and germinate by placing them in the container with soil.

2. It may take a few days to germinate the seeds. When the seeds germinate, their coloration will be obvious.

3. Record data on your seeds and compile it with the rest of the class data.

4. Write a lab report that answers the experimental question based on your data.

5. Optional: Show a chi square analysis to support your conclusions.

Lab Report

1. Introduction and Hypothesis

In this section, describe the experiment and suggest how looking at the F2 generation seeds can be used to determine F1 and P generation genotypes and which allele is dominant or recessive. Use punnet squares to explain your reasoning.

2. Data table: Here is where you document the number of seeds that are white and the number of seeds that are green (normal, wild-type)

3. Conclusions: In this section, use your data to show the genotypes of the Parental Generation, the F1 generation and the F2 generation. Show the crosses and punnet squares that resulted in each generation.


Other Activities on Genetics

Dihybrid Corn Genetics - count the number of yellow/purple and wrinkled seeds and solve the chi square equation

Why Are There No Male Calico Cats – case study and slide presentation that explore X inactivation and coat color in cats

Sexy Chickens – inheritance patterns in birds, using the ZW sex determination concept

Multiple Allele Traits in Chickens – shows how combs are inherited (rrpp x RRpp)

Chi Square Modeling Using Candy  – count the number of each color in a bag to determine if they occur in equal proportions

Drosophila Virtual Lab – choose fruit fly parents and analyze offspring in this virtual lab