Punnett square

April 3, 2024

Punnett squares are a way to predict the possible genetic outcomes of the offspring when two individuals with known genotypes are crossed.

About Punnett square:

  • It is named after British geneticist Reginald Punnett.
  • How does it work?
    • Along the top and side of the grid, the possible genetic traits of one parent on one side and the other parent on the other side is listed.
    • Then, you fill in the squares by combining the traits from each parent. Each square effectively represents a possible combination of traits that their offspring could inherit.
    • It’s a simple way to visualise the probabilities of different traits showing up in the offspring.
  • Applications:
    • They are commonly used in biology to understand inheritance patterns, like when you learn about dominant and recessive genes in school.
    • It is a useful tool that helps predict the variations and probabilities resulting from cross-breeding.
    • It can also be used to understand the genetic traits in the offspring of animals, including humans.
    • Researchers typically use them together with Mendelian inheritance.