Instructions

Describe gene imprinting that occurs in mammals.

  1. Approximately how many genes are affected?  (1 mark)
  2. When is imprinting erased & re-established?  (1 mark)
  3. What is the state of a male-imprinted gene in a female?  (1 mark)
  4. What is the state of a male-imprinted gene in a male?  (1 mark)

b) One theory is that imprinting is a competition between the father and the mother of a child to maximise their respective genetic fitness.

  • Male imprinting maximises foetal growth, which ensures a healthy baby, but increases the risk of the mother dying in childbirth
  • Female imprinting suppresses the growth of the foetus, ensuring the survival of the mother allowing her to give birth to more children.
    1. Do the genes imprinted by the male parent promote growth?

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