Pedigrees and the Inheritance of Lactose Intolerance
In this activity, students explore concepts covered in the short film Got Lactase? The Co-evolution of Genes and Culture about the genetic variations associated with lactose tolerance/intolerance and how the trait is inherited in families.
In this two-part activity, students analyze the same Finnish family pedigrees that researchers studied to understand the pattern of inheritance of lactose tolerance/intolerance. They also examine portions of DNA sequence near the lactase gene to identify specific mutations associated with lactose tolerance. In Part 1, students determine the pattern of inheritance, and in Part 2, the responsible mutation.
Student Learning Targets
- Study a pedigree to make an evidence-based claim about the mode of inheritance for a trait.
- Determine the most likely inheritance pattern of a trait tracked in a pedigree and the genotypes of individuals included in the pedigree.
- Analyze variations in DNA to make claims about which variants are associated with specific traits.
autosomal dominant, genetic analysis, lactase persistence, mutation, pedigree analysis
Enattah, Nabil S., Timo Sahi, Erkki Savilahti, Joseph Terwilliger, Leena Peltonen, and Irma Järvelä. “Identification of a variant associated with adult-type hypolactasia.” Nature Genetics 30, 2 (2002): 233–237. https://doi.org/10.1038/ng826.
HS-LS3-1; SEP2, SEP6
AP Biology (2019)
IST-1.I, IST-2.E, IST-4.A; SP2, SP4, SP6
IB Biology (2016)
3.1, 3.4, B.5
Common Core (2010)
Vision and Change (2009)
CC3; DP1, DP3