Phenotype | Brief Introduction & Examples

By | October 21, 2019


Phenotype Definition:

Phenotype performs the function of the physical appearance of an individual or organism. Phenotypes derived from a Greek word, the meaning of this word is “appearance” or “shinning”. The set of observable characteristics or physical behavior of an individual is produced by the interaction between genotype and environment, which is called Phenotype. The physical appearance of a human or person produced by the interaction of genetic makeup or genetic material with his or her environment.

A genotype is the genetic makeup of species or individuals, and the phenotypes are the physical behavior of the interaction of genetic material on an individual. The observed behavior, properties, characteristics of an organism or person including morphology is known as Phenotypes.



Examples of Phenotype:

The physical expression of DNA is known as Phenotype. Phenotypes are the physical appearance of the chemical makeup of DNA. Examples of the phenotypes are:

  • Melanin:

Melanin is also known as pigment which is produced by animals. It is a molecule that gives a dark color to tissue. In humans, there are varying levels of melanin including, hair, eyes and skin color. Melanin produced by only a few genes, while control by many genes. So an individual can be found around the globe which produces no melanin at all, this condition called Albinism. People with albinism have lacked the ability of melanin production. In the absence of the pigment, their eyes have pink shade, and hair and skin appear white. All population has albinism because the several genes are responsible for melanin production in large number, and mutation may disrupt the entire process. Many people with albinism carry a variety of skin and eye cancer because of decrease protection from the rays of the sun.

Animals also have albinism because of the pathways for melanin production same as in humans. Mostly, it is documented in the mammals, as mammals use this pigment. Different groups of animals use different pigments.


  • Mendel’s Peas:

Gregor Mendel is most known in the field of a genetic contribution. Mendel studied the phenotype of peas. He was interested in the ratio of phenotype between the offspring. He experienced that the bred of yellow and green peas, sometimes produce half yellow and half green offspring, and sometimes produce all yellow offspring. Mendel concluded that each pea has two alleles for color. Then, Mendel produces pea offspring in different colors ratio.

The color phenotype in pea is affected by an allele of yellow pigment. In the absence of this pigment, the chloroplast gives the green color. Each organism has two alleles as the offspring receives allele from both parents. If the offspring receives one allele of yellow pigment, the peapod will be yellow. The yellow allele is the dominant allele because only one pigment may cause yellow phenotypes. The green allele is a recessive allele because two green alleles needed to produce green offspring.


Genotype vs Phenotype:

Genotypes are the set of genes in DNA works for a particular trait, while phenotype is the physical appearance of genotype.

The phenotype can be observed easily by a look at an individual outer characteristic, features and physical behavior. But the observing of genotype is more complex than phenotype. In genotype, an individual can observe by biological assays. The obtained data can be compared with the sequence of another individual.

A genotype is the genetic makeup of an organismPhenotype is the morphology, properties, and behavior of an organism
Can be determined by observing DNA by genotyping methodsCan be determined by observing outward characters
Completely depends on the gene sequences
Depends on the genotype and environmental factors
Inherited by the offspring
Not inherited by the
Consists of all hereditary information that is the expressed and suppressed genesConsists of expressed genes
The genotype of a chromosome is just the basic data
structure (it bits in a binary chromosome)
The Phenotype is the object that the chromosome


Related Articles:

Genotype | Brief Introduction & Examples

Phenotype Vs Genotype | Definition & Examples