Tue February 05, 2013 By:

what is the difference between dominant trait and recessive trait?

Expert Reply
Wed February 06, 2013

For each trait, an individual acquires two copies of genes or alleles, one from the mother and the other from the father. The allele or gene that shows up is called “dominant,” and the allele that is masked is called “recessive.” Recessive alleles or genes will only show up if the offspring inherits recessive copies of the trait from both parents.

So a dominant trait is a genetic trait which will manifest even when only one copy of the gene is present, overriding another inherited gene coding for a different version of the trait. By contrast, a recessive trait will only appear if an organism inherits a copy of the recessive allele from both parents. Otherwise, the recessive allele will remain inactive and the dominant trait will take over.

Dominant genes are represented by capital letters and recessive genes are represented by small letters.

Eye color is one example wherein dominant genes mask recessive genes. If one parent has brown eyes and the other blue, brown is the dominant color and blue is the recessive.

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