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sex chromosome

one of the pair of chromosomes that determine the sex of an individual


any chromosome that is not a sex chromosome

sex-linked trait

a trait that is determined by a gene found on one of the sex chromosomes, such as the X chromosome or the Y chromosome in humans

linked gene

one of a pair of genes that tend to be inherited together

chromosome map

a diagram of gene positions on a chromosome

map unit

in chromosome mapping, an increment of 1 percent in the frequency of crossing-over

germ-cell mutation

mutation that occurs in an organism's gametes

somatic-cell mutation

a mutation that occurs in a body cell

lethal mutation

a gene or chromosomal mutation that influences the development of an organism in such a way that the organism cannot survive


the loss of a part of DNA from a chromosome


a reversal in the order of the genes, or of a chromosome segment, within a chromosome


the movement of a segment of DNA from one chromosome to another, which results in a change in the position of the segment; also the movement of soluble nutrients from one part of a plant to another


the failure of homologous chromosomes to separate during meiosis I or the failure of sister chromatids to separate during mitosis or meiosis II

point mutation

a mutation in which only one nucleotide or nitrogenous base in a gene is changed


a mutation in which a nucleotide or a codon in DNA is replaced with a different nucleotide

frameshift mutation

a mutation, such as the insertion or deletion of a nucleotide in a coding sequence, that results in the misreading of the code during translation because of a change in the reading frame

insertion mutation

a mutation in which one or more nucleotides are added to a gene


a diagram that shows the occurrence of a genetic trait in several generations of a family


in genetics, an individual who has one copy of a recessive autosomal allele that causes disease in the homozygous condition

genetic disorder

an inherited disease or disorder that is caused by a mutation in a gene or by a chromosomal defect


describes a characteristic that is influenced by many genes

complex character

a character such as skin color that is influenced strongly by both genes and the environment

multiple allele

more that two alleles for a genetic trait


a condition in which both alleles for a gene are fully expressed

incomplete dominance

one allele is not completely dominant over the other allele

sex-influenced trait

an autosomal trait that is influenced by the presence of male or female sex hormones

Huntington's disease

a rare hereditary disease of the brain characterized by involuntary movements of the limbs or face, decreasing mental abilites, and eventual death


a procedure used in fetal diagnosis in which amniotic fluid is removed from the uterus of the pregnant woman

chorionic villi sampling

a procedure in which the chorionic villi to are analyzed to diagnose fetal genotypes

genetic counseling

the process of testing and informing potential parents about their genetic makeup and the likelihood that they will have offspring with genetic defects or hereditary diseases

gene therapy

a technique that places a gene into a cell to correct a hereditary disease or to improve the genome

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