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...

    "Cronopio dentiacutus", a prehistoric mammal (an illustration)
    Mammalian Ancestors

    Mammals are a diverse group of organisms, where most of them develop their offspring within the uterus of the mother. Ov..

    Plant biology
    Plant Biology

    Plantlife can be studied at a variety of levels, from the molecular, genetic and biochemical level through organelles, c..

    Disturbance on a still water
    Abiotic Factors – Water Conditions

    A still body of water may be disturbed by a variety of factors. One of them is wind. In fact, it is considered as the pr..

    Biological Cell schematic diagram
    Biological Cell Introduction

    It only takes one biological cell to create an organism. A single cell is able to keep itself functional through its 'mi..

    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..

    Ploidy
    Polyploidy

    Humans are diploid creatures. This means that for every chromosome in the body, there is another one to match it. Howeve..