Genotype and phenotype

When we talk about a  genotype, we are talking about the hereditary part of a trait. How this trait eventually manifests is called the  phenotype . Below we explain  genotype and phenotype .

What is the genotype?

With the exception of the sex chromosomes, you get a full set of all genes from each parent. This means that you have two copies of each gene: one from your father and one from your mother. A genotype is a collection of hereditary traits.

Determining the genotype

So when there are two versions (variants) of a gene (say A and B), there are three possibilities: you have two A’s (both parents have given you gene variant A), you have two B’s (both parents have your gene variant B) or you have one A and one B (you got a different variant from each parent). In a DNA analysis, therefore, both copies of a gene must be determined for a complete picture. This is called genotyping, where the genotype is determined.

What is the phenotype?

Manifesting the hereditary traits is the phenotype. The phenotype determines the basis of the DNA. However, a phenotype does not only arise from the genes, but is the sum of the genetic variant(s) one possesses plus environmental factors.

The different characteristics

The phenotype includes visible features such as a person’s hair color or physical build, as well as non-visible features such as oxygen uptake or fat burning.

Environmental factors influence the trait encoded by the gene. These environmental factors can be internal (different genes, proteins, cells or organs that influence each other) or external (how do you live, what do you eat, intestinal flora, to which influences are you exposed?).

The phenotype is not the genotype

It is important to realize that in many cases a genotype does not provide a phenotype on a one-to-one basis. Although the  genotype and phenotype are very similar, there will certainly be differences.