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...

    Muscle
    Muscle

    Muscle cells are specialized to generate force and movement. Learn about the different types of muscle tissues in this t..

    DNA molecule
    Genetic Control – On and Off Genes

    Genes are the blueprint of our bodies, a blueprint that creates a variety of proteins essential to any organism's surviv..

    Physiological Homeostasis
    Physiological Homeostasis

    Homeostasis is essential to maintain conditions within the tolerable limits. Otherwise, the body will fail to function p..

    Genetics and Evolution
    Genetics and Evolution

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

    dinosaurs
    The Dinosaurs

    Dinosaurs represented a major turn in the evolutionary development of organisms on Earth. The first dinosaurs were presu..

    Plant Water Regulation
    Plant Water Regulation

    Plants need to regulate water in order to stay upright and structurally stable. Find out the different evolutionary adap..