Dictionary > Polygene

Polygene

Definition
noun, plural: polygenes
A group of genes that produces a specific phenotype or trait only when expressed together
Supplement
A polygene refers to a group of genes that when expressed together produce a particular phenotype or trait. The trait produced is therefore a result of the expression of multiple genes. This type of trait is referred to as a polygenic trait. In humans, it is exemplified by skin colour, height, and weight. Determinants of these traits are influenced by polygenes. For instance, height is regulated by several genes resulting in a variety of heights in a population. Thus, polygenes allow a wide range of physical traits. Thus, instead of having only two varieties there are several possible variations within population. Another is the predisposition to type 2 diabetes. There are multiple genes associated with the occurrence of type 2 diabetes in an individual. The expression of polygenes therefore is not based solely on Mendelian inheritance where the manifestation of a trait is associated with the expression of a single gene especially when the gene is dominant. There are several dominant and recessive alleles controlling a phenotype the result would therefore be a sum of the many interactions of these genes.
Word origin: Greek polys (many) + genein (to produce)
Synonym(s):

  • multiple factor
  • cumulative gene
  • multiple gene
  • quantitative gene

See also:

  • phenotype
  • genotype
  • gene
  • Related term(s):

    Related form(s):

  • polygenic (adjective, of, relating to, characterized by, or influenced by, polygenes)


    You will also like...

    temperature - abiotic factor
    Abiotic and Biotic Factors

    This tutorial deals with the abiotic factors of the freshwater environment that determine what sort of life would be sui..

    The Human Physiology
    The Human Physiology

    Physiology is the study of how living organisms function. Thus, human physiology deals specifically with the physiologic..

    Bryophytes
    Bryophytes

    Bryophytes (nonvascular plants) are a plant group characterized by lacking vascular tissues. They include the mosses, th..

    Lake Wakatipu, New Zealand
    New Zealand’s Unique Geographical History

    Explore why New Zealand has such unique flora and fauna, and learn why long periods of geographical isolation. This less..

    Sigmund Freud and Carl Gustav Jung
    Sigmund Freud and Carl Gustav Jung

    In this tutorial, the works of Carl Gustav Jung and Sigmund Freud are described. Both of them actively pursued the way h..

    Consciousness and behavior
    Consciousness and Behavior

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