The Blue People of Appalachia

The Blue People of Troublesome
Daryl Hardnett
Shaundra Mattox
Termerion McCrary
In this lesson students will Understand basic principles of heredity
 Discuss microevolution and decide whether
the blue people of Appalachia are
Meet the Fugates…
Martin Fugate had methemoglobinemia, a
condition that results in abnormal
Meet the Fugates
A symptom of this condition is “blue skin”
which is due to the absence of the enzyme
diaforase, a necessary enzyme that converts
methemoglobin to hemoglobin
Meet the Fugates…
Martin married a carrier of the disease and
they bore seven children; four of which
were blue
 The condition is inherited as a recessive
trait and would appear most often in an
inbred line
Fugate Pedigree
Geographic Isolation…
The people of Troublesome Creek were isolated from
the rest of the country. When the town was settled there
were no roads, making it hard to get out and people
tended to intermarry
One of Martin’s sons married his maternal aunt and 100
years later Benjy Fugate was born
As railroads and development swept through, the blue
Fugates started moving out of Troublesome Creek and
marrying other people
The inherited blue began to disappear as the recessive
gene spread to families where it is unlikely to be paired
to a similar gene
Allele frequencies must change between
– Drop West Nile
– Do gene flow; another cup with alleles
Maps; History
 Punnett Square
– 2 cups: Male & Female cups