Do you know your genotype? This is a question that most people find it difficult to answer. In fact, it’s very easy for people to come up with ready answers when asked about their blood group than genotypes. However, we fail to realize that genotypes play a much important role in our daily activities including relationships. Yes, knowing your genotype before starting a relationship is one the best decision you will ever make.
Understanding Your Genotype
Your genotype is your genetic makeup, and it consists of a trait or multiple traits. So, siblings from the same parent will definitely have different genotype. Although there are exceptions in the case of multiple births or twins that are fertilized by the same egg.
So, how can you determine your genotype in order to avoid disappointments and the prospect of giving birth to a sickle-cell child? Before we proceed on that let’s find out just how important it is to know your genotype.
Why it’s Important to Know Your Genotype
Let’s take a look at this scenario – you are finally getting married to the love of your life, and you’ve never been this happy. The wedding is just around the corner, and it’s definitely going to be the rave of the city.
You tell yourself over and over again; nothing must go wrong. Yes, you’ve invested so much into this event for anything to go wrong – you’ve booked the venue, made arrangements with the caterer. Everything is just perfect until you decide to go for a last-minute health checkup with your spouse, and you discovered that your genotypes are incompatible.
Try to imagine the devastation and the look of disappointment on your spouse and parents’ faces. Let’s say you decide to brave the consequences, and carried on with your wedding. Five years down the line, you find yourself racking up hospital bills for an innocent child who’s suffering for your actions.
Surely, this is not the future that you desire.
So how can you determine your genotype in order to avoid inflicting this fate on your unborn children? Well, that brings up to the next phase of this article.
How Do I Determine My Genotype?
DNA encodes for all the characteristics of an individual. So, a different combination of DNA nucleotides will create different genotypes or traits. Mind you the traits represented can be dominant or recessive, and it determines how thee is expressed in you.
There are basically 4 types of genotypes in humans, and each exhibits various traits. These basic genotypes include AA, SS, AS, SC. As mentioned earlier, these genotypes play an important role in the development and susceptibility of a child to various diseases. So, let’s take a look at the different ways you can determine your genotype.
1. Using The Punnett Square
The Punnett square serves as a short route to determining your genotype. Although it’s based on probability, there’s a fair chance that you will probably arrive at the right answer. This simply involves drawing a 2 x 2 square, and crossing your parent’s genotype in order to gauge yours.
Most importantly, it’s used for guessing your children’s genotype by crossing you and your partner’s genes. It requires no blood test or complex procedures.
Heck, even primary school pupils can definitely get the drift behind it. To determine your genotype, follow the following steps.
- Draw a 2 x 2 Square. The square will serve as a means to predict the genotype of the offspring.
- Label the left side of the square. You can do this by taking the genotype of one parent: Rr, and splitting it into dominant and recessive letters, i.e; R and r. The dominant letter; R will be placed on the top left side of the square. Place the recessive letter; r on the bottom left of the square.
- Label the top of the square. The parent’s genotype should be arranged in the saner manner. This time, however, place the dominant letter on the top left column of the square and place the recessive letter on the right column of the Punnett square.
- Input the information you got from crossing the genotype of both parents. This involves filling the squares by writing the letter that corresponds to the row and column the square is in.
With this, you will able to get 3 different type of genotypes – RR, RR, Rr, and Rr.
2. Using Primers To Detect Genotype
You don’t have to wait for 7 days before you see the results. Yes, it’s that fast. Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) involves using a molecule called a primer to bind to a particular sequence of DNA nucleotide.
The primer molecule can be used to determine if a certain sample is present in the DNA sample. Therefore, you can detect different genotypes based on the sequences present in the DNA sample.
This procedure is easy and pretty straightforward.
You will need to extract DNA from the cell sample, once you have selected a primer that can bind to the sequence in question. Extract the DNA by following the standard operating procedure (SOP) of the lab.
The next step is to add the DNA primer to the sample. The primer will only bind to the DNA molecule if the specific sequence required is present in the DNA sample. This process takes just a few hours to accomplish.
Once completed, you can move on to analyze the result. The result might be positive or negative depending on the primer used in binding with the DNA molecule. However, this applies to only simple cases. On the other hand, post-PCR procedures are required in complex cases.
Determining your genotype is a sure way to safeguard your future including that of your unborn children. In addition to this, knowing your genotype early enough in a relationship saves you the stress and heartbreak of breaking up. So, take the step today and put your fate in your hands by knowing your genotype status early.