Dictionary > Heterozygote


noun, plural: heterozygotes
A nucleus, cell or organism possessing two different alleles for a particular gene
A cell or an individual may be classified based on zygosity (i.e. the degree of similarity or the dissimilarity of the DNA sequences in specific coding segments, or genes, on the homologous chromosomes). A cell or an organism may be homozygous, heterozygous, hemizygous, or nullizygous. The nucleus, cell or organism that is described as heterozygous means that the alleles on the matching loci of homologous chromosomes are not identical. Such nucleus, cell, or organism is also referred to as a heterozygote.
Humans and other diploid organisms have two sets of chromosomes (one set from the father and the other from the mother). Each maternal chromosome has a corresponding paternal chromosome to match with based on their loci. Each pair of chromosomes is referred to as homologous chromosomes. When the homologous chromosomes bear different alleles on the same loci, such an organism is referred to as heterozygote. One of these alleles will manifest in the phenotype of the organism and the other will not. The allele that is expressed is said to be the dominant allele whereas the other one that is not is referred to as the recessive allele for a particular gene.
Word origin: Greek hetero (“different”) + zygote

See also:

Related term:

  • Compound heterozygote

Related form(s):

  • heterozygous (adjective, of, or pertaining to heterozygosity or a homozygote)

You will also like...

A sperm cell fertilizing an ovum
Human Reproduction and Fertilization

For human species to obviate extinction, reproductive mature adults should be producing viable offspring in order to con..

Early Mammals on Earth
Early Mammals on Earth

The Earth's ecosphere was rapidly changing and throwing up a wide range of ecological niches that new adaptive organisms..

Cell structure
Cell Structure

A typical eukaryotic cell is comprised of cytoplasm with different organelles, such as nucleus, endoplasmic reticulum, G..

Consciousness and behavior
Consciousness and Behavior

Human consciousness and behavior are an interesting topic since they are determined and controlled by the brain. Conscio..

Electromagnetic spectrum of a brain
Sleep and Dreams – Neurology

While learning and intelligence are associated with the functions of a conscious mind, sleep and dreams are activities o..

Direct and indirect physiologic effects of growth hormone
Animal Growth Hormones

Hormones are produced in the endocrine glands of animals. The pituitary gland and hypothalamus are the most impor..