Dictionary > Heterozygote

Heterozygote

Definition
noun, plural: heterozygotes
A nucleus, cell or organism possessing two different alleles for a particular gene
Supplement
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 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
Compare:

See also:

  • zygosity
  • allele
  • homologous chromosome
  • dominant
  • recessive
  • Related term:

    Related form(s):

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


  • You will also like...

    Schematic diagram of DNA replication
    DNA Structure & DNA Replication

    DNA is a double helix structure comprised of nucleotides. A nucleotide, in turn, is made up of phosphate molecule, deoxy..

    Adaptation Tutorial
    Adaptation Tutorial

    Adaptation, in biology and ecology, refers to the process or trait through which organisms or the populations in a habit..

    Lotic community of algal species
    Lotic Communities & Algae

    Lotic communities have conditions that are rather harsh for typical plants. Thus, the diversity of plant species in loti..

    Genetic Mutations
    Genetic Mutations

    Mutations involving a gene can similarly be harmful as the chromosomal mutations. This tutorial looks at the mutations o..

    The process of photosynthesis
    Photosynthesis – Photolysis and Carbon Fixation

    Photosynthesis is the process that plants undertake to create organic materials from carbon dioxide and water, with the ..

    Growth and Plant Hormones
    Growth and Plant Hormones

    Plants, like animals, produce hormones to regulate plant activities, including growth. They need these hormones to respo..