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Margaret Mead
Research Article



The inheritance of elements of geotropic performance in lines of rats (A and B) has been investigated by examining the orientation of young offspring produced in matings of F1(AxB) with A: Previous studies had shown that the three recognizable groups of receptor elements concerned in geotropic orientation in each of these lines appeared to be inherited in such a way that B groups were dominant with respect to A groups, although this was to a minor extent complicated by influences affecting the variation of orientation as well as the exact form of the curve relating orientation angle (θ) to slope of surface. In the backcross F1 x A, therefore, at least eight different types of curves were to be expected. These are in fact identifiable among the forty-one individuals carefully studied. Their classification is concordant with the behavior of the respective indices of variation of θ, for which an interpretation has been provided. The basic result is, therefore, that the three receptor groups of excitation units are inherited independently, and alternatively as regards the members of a homologous pair, and that rather simple dominance relations obtain between homologous groups from the two races, namely that a B effect is dominant over the homologous A effect. This interpretation has been tested in various ways, and is in principle completely consistent with the results of a similar experiment involving races A and K.