CHAPTER I
GENETIC ANALYSIS AND ITS
RESOLVING POWER

"ANALYSIS," in the Oxford dictionary, is defined as "resolution into simple elements." In genetic analysis we must be clear about what we resolve and into what simpler elements.

Classical genetic analysis is based on the results of breeding and by means of them resolves the genome into linkage groups, and each linkage group into loci. By also making use of cytological techniques and combining them with breeding techniques it goes further: it establishes on which chromosome each linkage group has its structural basis and to which small section of the chromosome each locus corresponds.

Mainly as a consequence of the development of microbial genetics, genetic analysis has increased enormously its resolving power in recent years, so much so that it now goes beyond that of physical or chemical techniques applied to biological organisation. I hope to substantiate this contention and make it more precise than was possible in 1952 when it was first put forward.

The essential process on which genetic analysis is based is recombination. Consider the analogy with microscopy, which is based instead on diffraction. The resolving power attained in microscopy depends on the quality of the microscope and on other technical details, but we know that it has a theoretical limit set by the wavelength of the light used. So far, in genetic analysis the resolving power has been limited only by the refinement of techniques. What

-8-

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Trends in Genetic Analysis
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Tables ix
  • Contents x
  • Introduction 1
  • Chapter I - Genetic Analysis and Its Resolving Power 8
  • Chapter II - Allelism 28
  • Chapter III - Structure and Function of the Genetic Material 54
  • Conclusions 67
  • Chapter IV - Recombination 72
  • Chapter V - Mapping Chromosomes Via Mitotic Recombination 101
  • Conclusions 112
  • Chapter VI - Novel Genetic Systems 114
  • Conclusions 128
  • Works Cited 135
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