BIOL209: Molecular Structure of DNA and RNA
11.1: Identification of DNA as the Genetic Material
Genetic material must meet four criteria: (Define the criteria)
o Information: The traits that been received from previous generations are carried by DNA molecule and
the information must be adequate to construct a complete organism.
o Transmission: The transfer of genetic information can be passed from parent genes to offspring
generation (from parent to offspring). It should pass from cell to another during cell division.
o Replication: The process by which a double-stranded DNA molecule is replicated must be accurate.
o Variation: The differences between organisms caused by alternate forms of DNA must account for
variation between species and within species.
Key Experiments in Determining the Genetic Material
(Briefly explain the experiments and major results)
• Gregor Mendel (1854)
As a botanist, he used peas for his experiments due to their many distinct varieties, and because offspring could
be quickly and easily produced. He cross-fertilized pea plants that had clearly opposite characteristics. After
analyzing his results, reached two of his most important conclusions:
1. The Law of Segregation: there are dominant and recessive traits passed on randomly from parents to
2. The Law of Independent Assortment: Those traits were passed on independently of other traits from
parent to offspring.
*this heredity followed basic statistical laws*
Friedrich Miescher (1869)