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Your genotype is your complete heritable genetic identity; it is your unique genome that would be revealed by personal genome sequencing. For example, if you carry a mutation that is linked to diabetes, you may refer to your genotype just with respect to this mutation without consideration of all the other gene variants that your may carry
phenotype is a description of your actual physical characteristics. This includes straightforward visible characteristics like your height and eye color, but also your overall health, your disease history, and even your behavior and general disposition.
We get two copies of each gene, one from each parent. The same gene comes in different "flavors," called alleles. If you inherit the same allele of a gene from each parent, you are homozygous for that allele. If, on the other hand, you inherit a different allele of that gene from each parent, you are heterozygous. Dominant and recessive refer to how the alleles for that gene express themselves. Recessive alleles express ONLY if you are homozygous for that allele. Dominant alleles express even if you only get one copy of that allele.
An example would be a gene that controls eye color. Suppose that this gene has two alleles, one that makes brown eyes and one that makes blue eyes. Let's label this gene "B." Now, to indicate alleles, we use the same letter, a capital for the dominant allele (brown eyes = B) and lowercase for the recessive (blue eyes = b).
Since any one individual has two copies of this gene, there are four possibilities:
BB – Homozygous, Dominant. Has brown eyes. Bb – Heterozygous. Has brown eyes. bB – Heterozygous. Has brown eyes. bb – Homozygous, Recessive. Has blue eyes.
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Dec 9th, 2015
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