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the scientific study of heredity


a characteristic that can be passed from parent to offspring


a plant or organism that receives the same genetic traits from both of its parents.


an organism that receives different forms of a genetic trait from each parent


sections of a chromosome that code for a trait


a distinct form of a gene

dominant allele

a form of a gene that is fully expressed when two different alleles are present

recessive allele

a form of a gene that is not expressed when paired with a dominant allele

Chromosome theory of heredity

states that the material of inheritance is carried by the genes in chromosomes


the genetic make up of an organism


The outward expression of the trait in an organism


an organism in which the two alleles in a gene pair are identical


an organism in which the two alleles for a particular trait are different

Punnett square

a grid for organizing genetic information

test cross

when geneticists breed the organism whose genotype is unknown with a homozygous recessive organism


a chart that shows how a trait and the genes that control it are inherited within a family


an individual who carries a recessive trait that is not expressed

incomplete dominance

When two different alleles for the same trait combine but neither allele "wins" expression over the other, the offspring have a form of intermediate inheritance


both alleles in the heterozygote express themselves fully

Polygenic trait

a trait controlled by two or more genes

multiple alleles

if three or more alleles are found in the population


When a single gene affects more than one trait

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