Related topics: genes

How do species adapt to their surroundings?

Several fish species can change sex as needed. Other species adapt to their surroundings by living long lives, or by living shorter lives and having lots of offspring. The ability of animals and plants to change can sometimes ...

Unveiling the mechanism protecting replicated DNA from degradation

Researchers from Tokyo Metropolitan University and the FIRC Institute of Molecular Oncology (IFOM) in Italy have succeeded in depleting AND-1, a key protein for DNA replication, by using a recently developed conditional protein ...

Wildflowers combat climate change with diversity

In 1859, when Charles Darwin first articulated the theory of evolution, he speculated that a process of natural selection led species to adapt to their environments over time. He believed traits that helped an organism survive ...

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Phenotype

A phenotype is an organism's observable characteristics or traits: such as its morphology, development, biochemical or physiological properties, behavior, and products of behavior (such as a bird's nest). Phenotypes result from the expression of an organism's genes as well as the influence of environmental factors and the interactions between the two.

The genotype of an organism is the inherited instructions it carries within its genetic code. Not all organisms with the same genotype look or act the same way because appearance and behavior are modified by environmental and developmental conditions. Similarly, not all organisms that look alike necessarily have the same genotype.

This genotype-phenotype distinction was proposed by Wilhelm Johannsen in 1911 to make clear the difference between an organism's heredity and what that heredity produces. The distinction is similar to that proposed by August Weismann, who distinguished between germ plasm (heredity) and somatic cells (the body). The Genotype-Phenotype concept should not be confused with Francis Crick's central dogma of molecular biology which is a statement about the directionality of molecular sequential information flowing from DNA to protein (but which cannot become transferred from proteins).

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