Pedigree Chart

A pedigree chart is a visual chart or a diagram that shows the chances of a certain phenotype in an organism also its ancestors covering one generation at a time. The pedigree chart basically shows the family tree of a particular human or any other living organism.

what is a pedigree chart

A pedigree chart is often used to navigate back to the ancestors that one had. It gives a comprehensive look at the different characteristics that are shown by a living organism as well as his or her ancestors.

A pedigree chart is used mostly in humans, show dogs and racehorses to prove the heritage and the presence of ancestors in a particular animal. Often when we buy a dog we want it to be of good bread, but no one has met the dog’s parents or the grandparents, and therefore there is no way the bread of the dog can be proved.

In such cases, a pedigree chart comes in handy. It shows an exactly whose child who is. Pedigree charts are also common in racehorses as purer the breed the more efficient will the horse be.

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Properties of a Pedigree Chart

A pedigree chart is not very easy to handle. Multiple characteristics are needed to be kept in mind before we go into this business. To make things clearer here are a few properties that will help you to understand a pedigree chart better. Some symbols and their uses are mentioned here for a better understanding.

  • A pedigree presents family information of a particular animal and makes it easier to navigate.
  • A pedigree chart uses a set of preset symbols like circles and squares to represent the gender of that particular animal. Square is for males; circles are for females and a diamond shape if the gender is not known for sure.
  • A series of lines are drawn in a pedigree chart to establish a relationship between two animals or humans.
  • Offspring are connected with vertical and horizontal lines to their parents.
  • If a particular animal or a human had a phenotype, then it was shown in a darker color.
  • Offspring of a particular parent are listed in birth order, from left to right.
  • Twins coming from the same parents will be connected via a triangle.
  • If an animal or a human being dies then the particular node that was allotted to him or her is crossed off.
  • If an offspring is stillborn or aborted, a small triangle is drawn to indicate that.
  • The generations proceed as Roman I, II, III, and so on.
  • People belonging to the same generation are defined by numeric 1, 2, 3.
  • A pedigree chart is drawn based on the principles of Mendelian inheritance.
  • One can determine the nature of a character that is present in an organism to be dominant or recessive with a pedigree chart.
  • A genetic disorder can be found within a particular member of a pedigree chart.

Places where a pedigree chart is needed

pedigree chart example
Anselmo Braamcamp Freire’s Family Tree

A pedigree chart is not only a family tree that helps to navigate an animal’s true origin.

It is used by both humans and animal rearers, and it is also needed for government reasons as well.

Human Use

We have already established that pedigrees are quite useful to determine the heritage and bread of a dog or a horse.

But people who have really big families or are interested in their family tree also invent in a pedigree chart.

People who have really big families they want to preserve their family heritage so that no member of their family is forgotten.

Human pedigrees are officially recorded in Wales in the College of AMs. The sightings of the pedigree chart date back to the middle ages.

Animal Husbandry

Selective breeding is a very common practice when it comes to animal breeding. People will pay way more to have an animal that is pure breed than anything else. Fancy animals and livestock are proffered if they come with a pedigree chart. In that case, the owners will know that the animal that they are investing in is pure to its breed.

Pure breed animals are considered superior to mixed breed ones as they are considered more efficient. Pedigree charts are also proof of registration from the government. It is a proof that the pet you own is not illegally smuggled.

Uses of a Pedigree Chart

  • A pedigree chart keeps all the possible information that you need about an animal like a dog or a horse in it if you need.
  • A pedigree chart comes hand in hand with a government registration certificate that makes sure that the animal that you have is in no shape or form illegal. When you go and buy a dog if the seller is unable to provide a pedigree certificate that is your clue that the poor animal was smuggled.
  • A pedigree chart makes an animal more desirable to a buyer especially when there is a proof of its heritage.
  • The seller will be able to keep track of progenies of a particular animal.
  • With a pedigree chart, it is easy to identify any genetic conditions that might be present in the animal. Thus making the picture clearer for a potential buyer.

Disadvantages of a Pedigree Chart

  • The process of record keeping is very long and tedious, and the chances of the chart being wrong are always there.
  • A pedigree chart cannot be applied to species that show different characteristics or features in different progenies.



To finish off, a pedigree chart is like an authentication certificate for pets. There are many advantages of a pedigree chart, but there always stands a chance that the chart might not be 100% true. It is a more qualitative way than quantitative when it comes to disease resistance breeding. We would always like a nice pure breed pet but how does it matter whether our pet is pure or not, it will always be our best friend.

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