Genetics Vocabulary


  1. Allele — alternative forms of a gene for each variation of a trait of an organism
  2. Crossing over — exchange of genetic material between non-sister chromatids from homologous chromosome during prophase I of meiosis; results in new allele combinations
  3. Diploid — cell with two of each kind of chromosome; is said to contain a diploid, or 2n, number of chromosomes
  4. Dominant — observed trait of an organism that mask the recessive form of a trait
  5. Egg — haploid female sex cell produced by meiosis
  6. Fertilization — fusion of male and female gametes
  7. Gamete — male and female sex cells, sperm and eggs
  8. Genetic recombination — major source of genetic variation among organisms caused by re-assortment or crossing over during meiosis
  9. Genetics — branch of biology that studies heredity
  10. Genotype — combination of genes in an organism
  11. Haploid — cell with one of each kind of chromosome; is said to contain a haploid or n, number of chromosomes.
  12. Heredity — passing on of characteristics from parents to offspring
  13. Heterozygous — when there are two different alleles for a trait
  14. Homologous chromosome — paired chromosomes with genes fro the same traits arranged in the same order.
  15. Homozygous — when there are two identical alleles for a trait
  16. Hybrid — offspring formed by parents having different forms of a specific trait.
  17. Law of independent assortment — Mendelian principal stating that genes for different traits are inherited independently of each other.
  18. Law of segregation — Mendelian principal explaining that because each plant has two different alleles, it can produce two different types of gametes. During fertilization, male and female gametes randomly pair to produce four combinations of alleles
  19. Meiosis — type of cell division where one body cell produces for gametes, each containing half the number of chromosomes in a parent’s body.
  20. Nondisjunction — failure of homologous chromosomes to separate properly during meiosis; results in gametes with too many or too few chromosomes
  21. Phenotype — outward appearance of an organism, regardless of its genes.
  22. Pollination — transfer of male pollen grains to the pistil of a flower
  23. Recessive — trait of an organism that can be masked by the dominant form of a trait
  24. Sexual reproduction — pattern of reproduction that involves the production of subsequent fusion of haploid cells.
  25. Sperm — haploid male sex cells produced by meiosis
  26. Trait — characteristic that is inherited; can be either dominant or recessive
  27. Zygote — diploid cell formed when a sperm fertilizes an egg.