Page 2 of 2 FirstFirst 12
Results 11 to 12 of 12

Thread: Genetic Components of Metamorphagi

  1. #11
    Inverarity
    Guest
    Quote Originally Posted by Annalise28
    Is it possible? Because, if you are the descendant of a witch or wizard, aren't you a half blood, no matter who you marry? Unless you are a squib, of course.
    "Half-blood" = one Muggle parent, one wizard parent.
    "Squib" = one or two wizard parents, but not a wizard oneself.

    There isn't really a definition given in the books for what you would call, say, Harry, who is the child of a pureblood and a Muggle-born. It's hard to use traditional categories of heritage (like "1/4 wizard") because wizardry really behaves more like a recessive genetic trait than a race/ethnicity. (You can't be born Italian if neither of your parents were Italian, for example.) But wizards treat it the way Muggles treat racial heritage. Which suggests wizards don't understand genetics much better than Rowling does.

    This makes me think further, though. Because, if all of the wizards/witches reproduced, then we would have a lot of magical children, wouldn't we.
    If all of them did, sure. All members of any group don't reproduce, though. We don't know what the wizarding birth rate is. The best guess is that it's similar to that of the Muggles they live with.

  2. #12
    MorganRay
    Guest
    We know that a Metamorphai doesn't need to be a pureblood witch or wizard, but can a witch or wizard with a Muggle parent possibly be a Metamorphagus?
    If the gene to be a Metamorphai is a simply Mendalian genetic trait, then yes, this is plausible. However, maybe the gene needs a magical component (another gene?) to be active. Complex genetic traits (think height and weight) are really common and involve environmental factors as well as genetic factors. Some complex traits (height) rely less on environmental factors than other genetic traits. Also, development is all about certain genes being activated or repressed to make various proteins depending on what hormones and signaling molecules are available in the developing embryo.

    I assume the gene for the abilities of a Metamorphagus are either recessive or carrier. Do you think the fact that Tonks herself is a Metamorphagus increased the chances of Teddy being born with the ability? Does anyone know of any genetic illnesses I could study that you think would be at all similar to this ability?
    This question is actually easier to answer than the first from a genetics standpoint. I think your first assumption of recessive or a carrier is probably the easiest one to make. I would say Tonks is a recessive carrier. It's probably easiest to think of a Metamorphai gene as a single gene trait (one gene codes for one trait) that follows simple, Mendelian rules (think Punnett squares). There are plenty of human petigrees available that show the lineage of carriers of recessive traits. Sex linked (X chromosome) recessive traits tend to be fairly common, and this is how hemophelia is transmitted. The really famous hemophelia lineage is of Queen Victoria and the royal family. The most important thing about an X chromosome linked recessive trait are these things: 1)the trait is rare and 2)only male progeny can inherit it. If Tonks is double recessive for whatever gene goes with becoming a Metamorphagus, then ALL her sons will be Metamorphagus, but none of her daughters will be. You should also assume Lupin doesn't have this trait because it is rare.

    I agree with you that it could have something to do with Lupin, but I doubt it has anything to do with his Lycantrophy. Teddy seems to be fine in the werewolf-department, and I doubt that being a werewolf would change Lupin in his stem cells.
    Yup. This sounds correct. Lupin's somatic cells are infected, but his germ cells seem to be fine (aka his sperm). It's like cutting off your finger. Your children won't inherit it, but you're always going to be minus a finger.

    Then, if the gene was recessive and only came to show if there was some trace of it in both parents, that would explain why it happened with Teddy - and why, apparently, none of Tonks' parents are Metamorphmagi, but she is. I don't have names of any specific illnesses here right now, but I'm almost 100% sure that there are illnesses that require both parents to carry a certain gene.
    I wrote about X-linked recessive traits, which are linked to the sex chromosomes (specifically, the X chromosome since Tonks is a Metamorphagus). However, if the trait is a somatic recessive single gene trait (it's a recessive gene that codes for one discrete trait on some other chromosome besides the sex chromosomes), then you have to make different assumptions. First, Lupin has to be heterozygous for the trait. This DOES NOT mean that a grandparent or former family member has to have carried the trait. Second, Tonks must be homozygous recessive for the trait. Third, assume it is just one gene coding for one trait and this follows simple Mendelian genetics. Therefore, Tonks and Lupin have a 1:1 chance of producing a Metamorghagus child of EITHER sex.

    Trying with an example... Lupin's paternal great great great great grandfather (I'll call him F from now) was a Metamorphmagus; his wife, however, was not, and no one in the Lupin family met/married a Metamorphmagus from then. However, all the descendants of that F had the gene to potentially produce a Metamorphmagus.
    None of the family members in either Tonks or Lupin's families had to be a Metamorphmagus prior to Tonks or Teddy being a Metamorphmagus. First, the trait is rare, so this means that the majority of the population is probably homozygous dominant or completely normal. However, what Lupin DOES have to have is one dominant and one recessive copy of the gene (he must be heterozygous). This applies to Tonks's parents as well. They BOTH must have been heterozygous because you cannot have a homozygous recessive child with one parent that is homozygous dominant. If one parent is homozygous dominant, ALL the children will be normal because they all inherit the dominant allele from the one parent.

    Along the lines of diseases that work this way, there are plenty. Sickle cell anemia, Tay-Sachs, and cystic fibrosis are single gene traits that are all somatic homozygous recessive.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •