Human DNA and blood genotypes still evoke many questions in scientists. However, there are many answers to be gotten, too. Find out how your genotype affects your marriage and reproduction.
Looking for a partner some of us are interested in the smallest details to find an ideal person. Even health and genes are taken into consideration. But how many genotypes are there? To answer this question we need to know a bit more about genetics.
The term was first applied by Danish geneticist W. Johannsen. With the help of it, he described the hereditary constitution of organism. Genotype is actually a part of genetic cells makeup, which determines specific characteristics of a person (his or her phenotype). The other two things, which also influence phenotype, are environment (as a non-inherited factor) and epigenetic factors (inherited ones). Thus, you always get two versions of gen – alleles (one from each of your parents). And one of them can show up in your phenotype. It’s also important to understand that it’s nothing to do with the disease, such as cancer. It is a mutation, and not a genotype of a person.
Characteristics of genotypes
There are people who are interested in genotype, because they want to find an appropriate partner for marriage. So, let’s find out, which characteristics it may affect. The majority of us are more concerned about observable ones. That’s why we’re going to make clear, what actually influences the phenotype.
The combination of alleles you receive from your parents might be the same or different. For instance, different types may affect the color of person’s eyes (thus, you may have, for example, blue or green ones). Genes can influence your ability to taste PTC as well (bitter tasting compound). You should also know that genes might be monogenic (impact on just one characteristic) and polygenic (affects several ones). The latest are more common.
You must understand that it’s essential factor, which is able to influence phenotype. Although genes carry the instructions for your development, throughout your life external things exert you. They usually include climate, diet, stresses and illnesses you get. The determination of phenotype by environment can be of various degrees. The more it is, the higher your phenotypic plasticity is.
Nevertheless, the majority of scientists claim that genotype plays the most important role in your development, while environmental factors are still debatable.
Blood groups and genotypes
In order to find a good partner, people try to know about blood genotype and its compatibility.
What isblood genotype then? This term refers to hemoglobin gene constituents. There exist different types of hemoglobin. As genes are always in pairs, it’s essential that not more than one of them is abnormal (AS, AC). Otherwise, the problem might appear.
So, if you’re eager to know howmany genotypes are there – there are five main of them. Their list includes the following:
- AA (normal),
- AS (no symptoms, the carrier),
- AC (no symptoms, the carrier),
- SC (ban condition with recurrent anemia),
- SS or CC (sickle cell disorder).
We’ve already mentioned that AS and AC are abnormal types. You should know that AC is also very rare, because there’s very little information about it.
It’s necessary to understand that people are concerned about genotypes for blood typesnot only because they’re looking for a perfect match, but also because they want to avoid a certain sickness and have healthy children. For example, recessive disorder’s widespread disease in Africa, so people must make sure they know everything they need about their genotype. Besides, it should be compatible for marriage.
For those people who care about such things, we offer the following data for those who have abnormal genes:
AA type is the safest one. You can marry anyone you like. Even a match of AA and AS genotypes is possible. There’s no risk to have sickle cell disorder for such people. Even marrying an SS partner, there might be only AS kids. Thus, there is no danger.
AS is more vulnerable type. If you’re asking “Can AS genotype marry AS genotype?” – the answer is no. So, of course, you can try, but there’s great risk of having a disease. One out of four chances that your little one will be SS. The same situation appears in case of AC. Thus, the marriage is possible only if you’re ready for such danger. Very few parents actually are.
However, there exist plenty of examples of such couples. They have up to five healthy children. The question is: will you forgive yourself if you aren’t that lucky?
Compatible types are:
- AA plus AA.
This is kind of a perfect match. You and your future kids are absolutely safe. You don’t need to worry about genotypes at all.
- AA plus AS.
We’ve said that there’s no danger in this case either. The worst thing that can happen is that all your children will be AS. Such kids may finally marry people with AS type, and then serious risks may arise.
- AS plus AS.
We’ve discussed the issue above. It isn’t advisable to marry, if both partners have this type.
- AS plus SS.
It is even worse idea, because the danger is higher. Your children will be either AS or SS, which isn’t good at all.
- SS plus SS.
In this case, there is no opportunity to avoid the disease, so it’s better not to have children at all. Otherwise, they will suffer for all their lives.
Blood Group Compatibility
It is also advisable to know about yours and your partner’s blood groups. They may influence certain features of your future kids’ organisms.
There exist the following groups:
It depends on parents’ groups, as it’s a hereditary thing. Rhesus antigen is also of big importance. There exist Rhesus positive (O+ve) and Rhesus negative (O-ve). If one with Rh+ marries one with Rh- special antibodies are stimulated. Thus, for instance, if a minus woman has a child with a positive man, the risks of having a baby with haemolytic disease are very low. With every next pregnancy, the opportunity for such immunization will be even higher.
How to find out
If you need to know your genotype, you must go through genotypic assay. It includes:
• PCR (polymerase chain reaction),
• allele specific oligonucleotide probes,
• nucleic acid hybridization to DNA microarrays,
• DNA fragment analysis,
• DNA sequencing.
Genotype test is a very important procedure. It can help in avoiding many genetic diseases and make sure your children will be born healthy.
There exist several genotyping techniques as well. Among them, there’re:
• restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP),
• terminal restriction fragment length polymorphism (t-RFLP),
• amplified fragment length polymorphism (AFLP),
• multiplex ligation-dependent probe amplification (MLPA).
All these DNA analyses will help you to find out genotype and choose an appropriate partner.
According to the World Health Organization, more than 500.000 children are born with the sickle cell disease worldwide. Underdeveloped and developing countries are considered more prone to it. African states, like Nigeria are very vulnerable.
As the statistics shows, Nigeria has over 75% of sick children on the continent. It’s essential to notice, 100.000 of them are dying every year. Besides, there are more than 39 million carriers in this country. One million people are living with this disease. That’s why people are that concerned about genotype in Nigeria, as it has the highest level of sickle cell disorder.
Despite of such high level, there are no special centers in this country. That’s why some specialists have a purpose to raise awareness among the people (especially young ones).
Causes and symptoms of the disease
The most common ones are connected with:
Malaria (African countries are prone to it, and the researchers have noticed that the number of sick people is larger in such areas. It’s kind of adaptation to malaria presence).
Abnormalities of hemoglobin (Low hemoglobin makes people more vulnerable. Besides, it can be an attendant factor of the sickness).
Swelling (It might be one of the symptoms, which usually appears in the joints and bones. It’s quite painful as well).
People with such disease are liable to various crises. It can finally lead to their death.
Nowadays sickle cell disorder’s preventable. The following things are necessary for it:
Awareness. People should know about the disease and be aware of its causes, consequences, and sufferings during it. It will make them more concerned and careful.
Knowing your genotype. It’s the most essential thing to avoid the illness.
If you know it, you can select an appropriate father or mother for your children (even if you’re carrier yourself). It will allow more healthy children to be born.
Medical assistance. Doctors can help you to find out your genotype with the help of special tests. Besides, you can get a consultation about possible risks and factors that influence them. Specialists will advise you how to avoid problems.
Treatment. Nowadays it’s even possible to treat people with such disorder. The choice of medicines and procedures will depend on the crisis type and on a particular person.
Special centers. They must be created all over the world to raise awareness and give assistance.
Genotype is a very important thing, especially for African people, who are much more liable to sickle cell disorder. It’s essential to let people know about this issue and to raise their concern about their genes. It will help to avoid so many deaths, especially among children and prevent people’s suffering.
READ ALSO: Who to marry – 5 best tips for Nigerians.
Make sure you choose an appropriate partner for having babies. It’ll have a great impact on their future and future of all the humanity.