Germinating fast plant seeds.

Mendelian Genetics

by carolinastaff

Mendelian genetics is the core content for all genetics studies. Concepts of genotypes and phenotypes are established, parental and filial generations are defined, and patterns of inheritance explained. Mendel’s laws guide further, more complex studies in genetics. Carolina offers kits with your choice of 3 different organisms—Wisconsin Fast Plants, genetic corn, and Daphnia—all with a minimum of 2 easily observable traits that provide students hands-on experiences to collect and analyze data just like Mendel did with his plants.

This guide covers the information students need to know, provides links to products and free digital resources, and includes suggestions for hands-on labs that reinforce student learning. We offer a variety of products and resources to help you teach this concept. They include:

The major areas covered in this topic

Monohybrid Genetics

Monohybrid genetics and the use of Punnett squares form the foundation of Mendelian genetics. Students conceptualize parental and filial generations, explain homozygous and heterozygous genotypes, relate genotypes to phenotypes, and predict the outcome of parental crosses.

158940 Wisconsin Fast Plants: 72 Hour Monohybrid Genetics Kit

Students germinate seeds from P1, P2, F1, and F2 generations. They observe the seedlings from P1 and F1 and construct an inheritance pattern model to predict the phenotype and genotype of P2 and what the F2 seedlings will look like. After they examine the actual P2 and F2 seedlings, they can revise their model and explain the results based on the data they collected. The driving question that students investigate is, “How do trait variations in Fast Plants seedlings reveal inheritance patterns?” A pre-lab exercise presents a fictional scenario that introduces students to the phenomenon of phenotypic variation and gives students practice identifying an inheritance pattern.

Beginning—Easy to perform; requires little or no prior knowledge.

176362 Monohybrid Genetics with Corn Kit

Students study the inheritance of grain color using ears of corn. Each grain is the F2 of a cross between a homozygous red corn and a homozygous white corn. The lab covers the basics of Mendelian genetics including the inheritance of a single pair of alleles, one of which is dominant and the other recessive. Students score the phenotypes of the F2 and compare their data to their predictions.

Beginning—Easy to perform; requires little or no prior knowledge.

171984 Drosophila Monohybrid Cross Kit

Students study monohybrid inheritance using the Drosophila strains apterous (wingless) and wild type (winged).

Intermediate—Easy to perform; requires some background knowledge.

Dihybrid Genetics

After students master monohybrid crosses and the use of Punnet squares, dihybrid crosses are the next step to understanding more complex inheritance patterns. Genetic corn, Drosophila, and Wisconsin Fast Plants can be used to visualize and conceptualize dihybrid genetics.

176380 Carolina BioKits®: Corn Dihybrid Genetics

Students learn the basic principles of dihybrid inheritance and independent assortment using corn. Students first observe how traits of kernel color and nutrient composition pass from one generation to the next. Then they construct a hypothesis describing the mode of inheritance for each trait.

Beginning—Easy to perform; requires little or no prior knowledge.

158939 Wisconsin Fast Plants® 72-Hour Dihybrid Genetics Kit

Students germinate Wisconsin Fast Plants seeds to study the inheritance of two phenotypes: stem color and seedling height. These phenotypes can be scored in the seedling stage. The P1, F1, and F2 seeds are provided in the kit so students do not have to make the crosses themselves. They germinate the seeds, make predictions, and modify their predictions on the basis of data that they collect.

Beginning—Easy to perform; requires little or no prior knowledge.

171990 Drosophila Dihybrid Cross Kit

Our Drosophila Dihybrid Cross Kit allows students to study dihybrid inheritance using the Drosophila mutants apterous (wingless) and sepia (sepia-eyed).

Advanced—For experienced high school and college classes; requires some technical skill and background knowledge.

Exceptions to Mendel’s Laws

Follow up your Mendelian genetics studies by examining exceptions to Mendel’s classic genetic laws with kits that have your students go hands-on with codominant traits, sex-linked traits, or multiple genes.

700107 Carolina® Blood Group Genetics with Synthetic Blood Kit

Students act as blood geneticists at a medical laboratory and serve as expert witnesses in a case of disputed inheritance. Throughout the activity, they must master basic genetic concepts including multiple alleles, codominance, and the relationship of genotype to phenotype. The simulated agglutination reactions are extremely realistic. Kit contains no blood, blood products, or materials of biological origin, so there is no danger of disease transmission.

Beginning—Easy to perform; requires little or no prior knowledge.

172631 Carolina® Easy Fly® Sex-Linked Inheritance Kits
  • Experiments with Drosophila just got easier. With Easy Fly® you don’t have to collect virgins for controlled crosses. Easy Fly® does it for you. Prior to shipping, each Easy Fly® culture is heat shocked, which kills all the males. Adults and pupae in an Easy Fly® culture are all females. In this kit, students study sex-linked inheritance by crossing wild-type male and Easy Fly® white-eyed female Drosophila.

Intermediate—Easy to perform; requires some background knowledge.

155586 Genetics of the Casper Fish Kit

In this kit, students crossbreed zebra fish males and Casper Fish® females and observe the embryological development of the F1 generation. This engaging kit not only allows students to watch cellular division and differentiation, it also incorporates the basics of inheritance. While observing embryological development of the collected transparent embryos, your students construct dihybrid crosses to predict the genotypic and phenotypic frequencies of the F1 and F2 generations.

Advanced—For experienced high school and college classes; requires some technical skill and background knowledge.

Bring your genetic lessons to life with Model Organisms

Model Genetic Organisms

We offer unique opportunities to work with model organisms—such as genetic corn (Zea mays), Wisconsin Fast Plants (Brassica rapa), and fruit flies (Drosophila melanogaster)—in your genetics lab. These organisms allow students to analyze and understand genetic crosses, study alleles, recognize different phenotypes, and compare predicted versus actual results.

Use this infographic to decide which organism is right for your genetics course.

Genetic Corn

Corn is the ideal organism for introducing students to Mendelian genetics. Corn kernels express numerous phenotypes that are easy to recognize. The phenotypes typically used involve the color or shape of the kernel.

We maintain parental stocks of yellow and purple corn colors. Purple corn is the result of a dominant allele, and yellow corn is the result of the recessive allele of the same gene. Each kernel on an ear of genetic corn represents an offspring. This means students can immediately begin collecting data without performing genetic crosses themselves. Since there are generally 200 or more kernels per ear, it takes only a few ears to produce reliable data.

Corn Genetics Set
176321 Corn Genetics Set
177080 Corn, Population Genetics BioKit®
Genetic corn is used to teach quantitative analysis and statistics
747805 Quantitative Analysis and Statistics Kit
176400 Corn Parent Ear, Purple Starchy
176540 Corn Segregating Ear, Su Endosperm Alleles 3:1
176600 Corn Segregating Ear, R and Su Alleles 9:3:3:1

Wisconsin Fast Plants

Wisconsin Fast Plants offer a virtually maintenance-free way to learn about the plant life cycle within just 30-45 days. Classroom plant kits include everything you need—watering system, containers, and nutrients. Provide an interactive way to teach plant biology, environmental science, genetics, and even math with Fast Plants. 

Eight of our most popular genetic stocks together in one package!
158695 Wisconsin Fast Plants® Confetti Mix Seed, Pack of 100
158800 Wisconsin Fast Plants® Genetic Seed Sampler
158871 Wisconsin Fast Plants®: Mendelian Genetics Monohybrid Seed Disk Set

Drosophila Cultures

Our vision for the study of genetic research flies fosters innovation. Our flightless fruit fly reduces the chance of escape for a more successful lab. Easy Fly makes genetic work easier, and FlyNap anesthesia simplifies sexing and comparisons. 

172010 Drosophila, Living, F1 sepia x wild Cross
172020 Drosophila, Living, F1 white x wild Cross
172320 Drosophila, Living, apterous, Chromosome 2 Mutant
172500 Drosophila, Living, ebony, Chromosome 3 Mutant
173010 FlyNap® Anesthetic Kit
172632 Carolina® Easy Fly® Drosophila Culture, Living, wild type (Oregon-R with hsY)

Genetic Models

Choose from a variety of high-quality models, posters, and DVDs to fit your needs. Check out our selection.

176900 Corn Mount, Dihybrid Cross
557104 Genetics of Heredity Poster
264400 Mendelian Genetics Monohybrid Cross Display

Additional Genetics Support

We have free resources to help you teach this concept, including:

Free Genetics Activities and Resources

Corn Genetic Activities & Resources

Wisconsin Fast Plants® Genetic Activities & Resources

Drosophila Genetic Activities & Resources

Other Genetic Activities and Resources

*Carolina Essentials activities are free, hands-on, and NGSS-based. These labs are designed to make implementing 3-D learning easy. Students make sense of phenomena while learning concepts essential for understanding scientific processes.

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