Phenotype n., plural: phenotypes <ˈfiːnəʊˌtaɪp> Definition: observable and measurable qualities of an organism

Phenotype refers to the observable features of an organism as a multifactorial repercussion of hereditary traits and environmental influences. The organism phenotype has its morphological, biochemical, physiological, and also behavioral properties. The phenotype, therefore, is the total characteristics displayed by an biology that results from the expression that the gene of an organism as well as the influence of eco-friendly factors and random variation. The interaction in between these factors has regularly been represented by the complying with relationship: genotype + atmosphere + arbitrarily variation → phenotype.

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Phenotype Definition

In biology, the term ”phenotype” is characterized as the observable and also measurable characteristics of one organism together a result of the interaction of the gene of the organism, eco-friendly factors, and also random variation. The phenotype of an organism will not just entail the observable features such as morphology but it will also include molecules and also structures such together RNA and also proteins produced as coded through the genes; this is described as ”molecular phenotype”.

This diagram (Punnett square) mirrors the relation in between phenotype and also genotype. The petal color character that the pea plants is stood for by B and b genes. B gene is the leading trait and manifests as a purple-petalled flower. b gene is the recessive trait. A test cross between two plants that space heterozygous (Bb) for the purple petal shade trait will produce 3 offspring v the purple-flower properties (BB and Bb) and also 1 offspring through the white-flower characteristics (bb). In this example, the phenotypic proportion is 3:1.


The term phenotypecame from the Latin phaeno- , native Greek phaino- , meaning “shining”, native phaínein, definition “to shine”, “to appear”, “to show”, and -type from “typos”. Compare: genotype. The hatchet phenotypic is a descriptive word the is offered to pertain, said to, or describe the phenotype of a specific organism.

Trait vs. Phenotype

A trait is an attribute that the organism phenotype. Thus, in genetics, the properties is additionally referred to together the phenotypic trait, to identify one trait from another within the more-inclusive term, phenotype. The phenotype of an biology is made up of different traits. The traits might be inherited (genetically determined), acquired as result of environmental influences, or an outcome from the interaction of the two. Because that instance, the hair shade is a personality in i beg your pardon the traits might be black, blonde, ginger, or brunette.

Phenotype vs. Genotype

In genetics, genotype and also phenotype are usual terms supplied to explicate the appearance, function, and behavior of one organism. A genotype is identified as the collection of genes that once expressed determines the characteristic or the trait of the organism. In easier words, the genotype is the hereditary contribution to the phenotype. The genes comprise the sequences of DNA. In humans and other organisms, they take place in bag – one comes from the masculine parent and the other from the female parent. The pairs of gene occupying the very same loci top top the chromosomes and also controlling the very same trait are dubbed alleles. So, exactly how are alleles and also traits related? Typically, a pair of gene (or a pair of alleles) for a details trait is made up of two, one is dominant and also the other, recessive. The leading allele will be expressed together a trait whereas the recessive allele will certainly not be expressed. Annotating the leading allele through A and also the recessive allele through a, there can be three feasible genotypes: (1) AA, the homozygous leading allele, (2) Aa, the heterozygous dominant, and also (3) aa, the homozygous recessive. The genotype that an organism is a significant determinant the the phenotype of one organism. But just how does genotype influence phenotype? Let’s take it for instance the pair of alleles (or pair that genes) that determines a details trait where among them is leading (A) and also the other, recessive (a). The dominant allele (A) will be expressed and become a component of the phenotype the the biology whereas the result of the recessive allele (a) will certainly be masked. Once a trait follows Mendelian inheritance, the A will manifest as a trait whereas a will certainly not. Thus, the phenotype the an organism shall incorporate the traits of all the expressed genes. In people though, numerous of the observable traits space more facility than those that follow the Mendelian pattern. Complicated traits, such together height and also skin color, space brought around by the interaction of lot of alleles, as in the situation of polygenic inheritance.

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The phenotype is the result of hereditary factors, eco-friendly influences, and also random genetic variations. Once the pair that alleles identify a specific trait is composed of the exact same genes, e.g. AA or aa, the characteristics is defined as homozygous. once the allelic composition consists of different genes, e.g. Aa, the characteristics is defined as heterozygous. The presence of the dominant allele, i.e. AA or Aa, will an outcome in the manifestation of the properties (A) vice versa, the lack of the dominant allele, i.e. aa, will result in the expression of the other trait (a). This is a situation of finish dominance and also it adheres to the Mendelian inheritance. In situations of codominance, incomplete dominance, and polygenic inheritance, the manifestation that a trait will not monitor the Mendelian pattern. For instance, in codominance, the alleles the a gene pair in a heterozygote will be fully expressed due to the fact that both alleles in a pair space dominant (e.g. AB). In incomplete dominance, the resulting trait will be an intermediate of the results of the two alleles. This is since the dominant allele will only be partially expressed. Together a result, the heterozygous offspring will display a phenotype that is intermediate to the phenotype that the parents.

Apart indigenous the genetic interactions, the phenotype the an organism will likewise depend on the affect of the environment and random (genetic) variations. Exposure to environmental factors could affect the figure of an organism. For instance, a light-colored skin the is constantly exposed to the sun’s rays will reason the skin to darken from raised melanin production. As for arbitrarily variation, the genetic mutation could transform the physics trait or at the very least the fitness of one organism. Changes in the gene are important as they journey evolution and natural selection. Genotypes, eco-friendly effects, and also genetic variations assist explain why people tend to have various phenotypes.

Extreme Phenotype

An extreme phenotype arises when the parents’ alleles come together and results in a hybrid through a phenotype the is greater or higher than the phenotypes the its parents. The transgressive phenotype may be beneficial or detrimental depending on how it affects the as whole fitness of the offspring. The formation of extreme phenotypes is referred to as transgressive segregation. An example of a hybrid with an extreme phenotype is the offspring indigenous a cross between Helianthus annuus and Helianthus petiolaris. The two sunflower varieties produced hybrids that have transgressive traits. The hybrids, as opposed to your parents, space able to prosper in locations where their parents cannot. They room able to endure in sand dunes and salt marshes. (Ref.1)

Recombinant Phenotype

Meiosis is among the important biological events the lead to greater variation in the phenotypes the organisms. Particularly, throughout the metaphase that meiosis I, the homologous chromosomes come together to exchange gene via homologous recombination. Together the homologous chromosomes reach the finish of meiosis (telophase II), the 4 daughter cells will have actually chromosomes distinct from one another. Some of them will end up being gametes containing recombinant genes. When such gamete is fertilized through a wild type, for instance, it will build into one offspring v a recombinant phenotype, i.e. A phenotype that is different from the phenotypes that its parents. How to recognize the phenotype the recombinants? A test-cross on two traits (e.g. Blue-bodied, normal-winged paris parent and black-bodied, vestigial-winged paris parent) can aid identify recombinant phenotypes. The offspring with phenotypes different from the parental (e.g. Blue-bodied, vestigial-winged fly, or black-bodied, normal-winged fly) indicate that they room recombinants.

Phenotypic Ratio

A Punnett square is another tool that deserve to be supplied to identify all feasible allelic combinations in a test cross. It can predict the genotypes and the phenotypes that the offspring. The is a diagram in grids and letters to represent alleles. An uppercase letter (e.g. A) denotes a dominant trait or genotype and also a small letter denotes a recessive characteristics or genotype (e.g. A). Based upon the Punnett square, the phenotypic ratio (as well together the genotypic ratio) have the right to be determined. A phenotypic ratio is a proportion that have the right to be predicted native a test cross. It can be known based on the phenotypes that the offspring, i.e. The frequency that offspring manifesting various traits or properties combinations. Because that example, the supposed phenotypic proportion of AaBb x aabb dihybrid overcome (i.e. A cross that encounters two characters, e.g. Body shade (A because that blue, a for black) and wing morphology (B for regular wings, b because that vestigial wings) is 1:1:1:1, based upon the four feasible different phenotypes: AaBb (blue, normal-winged fly), aaBb (black, normal-winged fly), Aabb (blue, vestigial-winged fly), and also aabb(black, vestigial-winged fly).

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As spicy earlier, the phenotype of an organism refers to the assorted traits an organism possesses. Instances are blue eye characteristics (for eye shade character), brown skin trait (for skin shade character), long-tail trait (for tail character), five-petalled characteristics (for flower character), etc. Actions is also a phenotype example. For example, the behavior and cognitive characteristics of individuals with mental retardation are behavioral phenotypes. (Ref.2)

Related terms

Phenotype ratio Phenotypic threshold Phenotypic value Thrifty phenotype

See also

Paternal-effect gene


Schwarzbach, A. E., Donovan, L. A. And Rieseberg, L. H. (2001). “Transgressive personality expression in a hybrid sunflower species.” American journal of Botany 88.2: 270–277. Csábi, G., & Tényi, T. (2006). Behavioral phenotypes and cognitive features in psychological retardation. Neuropsychopharmacologia Hungarica : A Magyar Pszichofarmakologiai Egyesulet Lapja = official Journal the the Hungarian association of Psychopharmacology, 8(3), 127–142. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17211048