Molecular Basis of Inheritance

1.    What experimental evidence led scientists to believe that the genetic information is encoded within DNA?   Be familiar with the classic experiments carried out by Griffith, Avery, and Hershey and Chase which led to the conclusion that DNA rather than protein serves as the carrier of genetic information.

2.    What experiments led to an understanding of the structure of the DNA molecule?  Discuss the contributions made by Chargaff, Wilkins, Franklin, and Watson and Crick.

3.    Describe the molecular structure of the DNA molecule in detail (i.e. the Watson and Crick Model).  What forms the “backbone” of the molecule?  What is responsible for holding the two strands of the double helix together?  What do we mean by antiparallel strands?  Why (chemically) do the base pairs pair as they do (i.e. adenine with thymine and guanine with cytosine)?

4.    Describe in detail the process of DNA replication.