B.I.
center Genotype and Phenotype

Flow of Information
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Flow of Information
Before a trait can be observed ...
... biological information must be expressed. DNA molecules store the necessary instructions for building a protein macromolecule.

These instructions are copied from the DNA molecule into the form of an RNA molecule. One, or many copies can be made of these instructions.

Each of these RNA copies (often called 'messenger RNA' or 'mRNA') move away from the DNA templates and enter the cytoplasm of the cell, where they encounter the machinery that will convert the biological information (the instructions) into the correct linear sequence of amino acids that will become a functioning protein.

Once the protein has been correctly assembled and folded it can go to work. In the example of the red-color trait, this protein is in the form of an enzyme catalyst that enhances and speeds up the chemical reaction producing the red pigment.

As the protein goes to work the trait is produced. In this example, the trait is the red color seen in the petals of the flower.


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Science at a Distance
© 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000 Professor John Blamire