What are phenotypes and genotypes?
These terms are used when considering physical traits and their associated genes. A phenotype is a trait that can be observed in an organism, and the genetic makeup responsible for a trait is the genotype. Some traits are monogenic, meaning one gene is involved, whereas others are polygenic, which means several genes are involved. The article entitled It Runs in the Family on The Tech’s Understanding Genetics website acknowledges the saying, “Genotype determines phenotype”, which may be a quick and helpful aid to remembering the difference between the terms. What do Dominant and Recessive Mean? Basically, dominant genes are expressed over recessive genes. A good example is to look at when there are two versions of a gene (alleles) for a trait. If a mother has a straight hair line and the father has a dipped hairline (called “Widow’s peak”), their child will have a Widow’s peak. This is because this gene is dominant, and the straight line gene is recessive. It’s important to note that t