Why are traits acquired during the life-time of an individual not inherited ?


Bhawna Bhardwaj,Subject matter expert at Edumarz

Solution- For a trait of an organism to be inherited, it should bring about a change in the genes or DNA of the reproductive cells or gametes of that organism. The traits which are acquired during the lifetime of a person do not bring about a change in the genes or DNA present in its reproductive cells or gametes and hence they are not inherited by the progenies.

For example -There is a badminton player, he has good skills in playing badminton. This is the acquired trait or skills that he acquired in his lifetimes. In this, the changes acquire in the somatic cells, not in reproductive cells or gametes so this is the acquired trait by the badminton player. This acquired trait and skills of the player do not inherit in the next generation.

Background -Traits can be of two types based on the nature of cells involved,

  • Inherited traits

  • Acquired traits

Inherited traits-Inherited traits are also known as germinal variations.

     These traits are characterized by-

  • These variations occur in germinal cells of the reproductive organs of the individual.

  • These variations play a very important role in evolution.

  • These are inheritable variations and are transmitted from one generation to the next generation.

  • These variations occur either due to mutations or recombination of genes.

Acquired trait-Acquired traits are also known as somatic variations.

    These traits are characterized by-

  • These occur only in the somatic cells of an individual.

  • Individuals acquire these traits throughout their life.

  • These do not play any role in evolution.

  • These variations occur due to environmental factors like light, temperature, food availability, etc.

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