The phenotype is the physical appearance of an organism, while the Genotype is the genetic composition of an organism. Phenotype is observable and are the expression of the genes of an individual. So even the organism with the same species may differ, with a minute difference in their genotype. This is the main difference between the two.
We can notice one’s hair colour, eye colour, height, weight, skin colour, etc. but cannot look at genes responsible for these characters, so the observable physical look is the phenotype while the unnoticed genes responsible for such characters present in the DNA of cell of the individual is genotype.
To explain the above lines, here is the simple example of a pure red colour flowering plant (RR) is crossed with the white colour flowering plant (rr). The result of the Genotype of the F1 generation will be – Rr (Hybrid red colour), and the Phenotype of the F1 generation will be the – Red colour flowering plant.
Genotype and phenotype are the two very closely related and similar-sounding words, but their meaning is different. Our earth has a dynamic variety of organisms, present in soil, water and on land. But as the genome of each organism is different, and so there phenotypes also whether it’s their colour, height, weight or other morphological features. In this content, we tried to explain the point on which they differ along with a brief description.
Content: Phenotype Vs Genotype
|Basis for Comparison||Genotype||Phenotype|
|Meaning||The hereditary information of organisms, in the form of the gene in the DNA and remain same throughout life.||The visible characteristics are phenotype, which is the expression of the genes, but these character change with the period like the stage from infant to adult.|
|Consist of||The hereditary characters of the organisms, which may or may not get expressed in the next generation. The same genotype produces the same phenotype in a particular environment. ||These characters are not inherited. Thus we can say that same phenotypes may or may not belong to the same genotype.
|Different genotype may also produce similar produce phenotype, like RR and Rr produce the same black eye colour as the dominating allele is R and recessive allele is r. ||Here even a small difference in phenotype will have different genotype.
|It appears||Inside the body, as genetic material.||Outside the body, as physical appearance.
|Inherited||These are partly inherited from an individual to the offspring as one of the two alleles, during the reproduction process. ||The phenotype is not inherited.|
|Determined by||Using scientific methods like Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) to find out the kind of genes on the allele.||By observing the organisms.|
|Affected by||It is affected by genes.||It is affected by the genotype and other environmental conditions.
|Examples||Few diseases, blood groups, eye colour, height, etc.||Weight, body physique, eye colour, hair colour, birds beak, etc.|
Definition of Phenotype
The observable characteristics of an organism, which are the consequence of the genotype (the genetic material) and the environment are known as the phenotype. These are morphological features like colour, shape, size, behaviour and other biochemical properties.
Due to the change in the environmental conditions and other physiological and morphological changes linked with the ageing may result in the change of the phenotype, which is constant and throughout life. Different living style, available foods, evolution also contribute to these changes. An organism’s phenotype is recognised by its genotype (a set of genes carried by the organisms).
For examples, there are a different variety of dogs in the same environment, which can be easily recognised by their different colour, ears, height, weight, behaviour, etc. This distinction is due to a slight change in their genetic code.
Definition of Genotype
The term was coined by the Danish botanist and geneticist Wilhelm Johannsen, which means the genetic makeup of an individual and contributing in the phenotype or physical characters. The genotype is among one of the three factors of which determines the phenotype of an organism, the other two are environmental factors and the other inherited epigenetic factors.
Though it is not compulsory that the same genotype will get expressed in the next generation, they may get variate or modified due to the environment and other conditions. For example, there is a slight difference in all organisms even if they belong to the same species.
The genomic sequence plays a vital role in differentiating the organisms from one another, with regards to the combination of alleles, carried by an individual which can be homozygous or heterozygous. Homozygous is the one type of allele, while heterozygous are the two types of alleles.
For Example, in a pea plant, the gene representing the colour of the flower has two alleles. One of the alleles code for violet flower and designated as ‘V’, whereas another allele code for white and is represented as ‘v’. So the possible F1 generation will have its genotype VV, Vv, or vv. These genotypes contribute to the phenotype and other physical or outward appearances. The process of determining the genotype called genotyping.
Key Differences Between Phenotype and Genotype
Upcoming points will be focussing on the essential difference between the two terms;
- Genotype consists of the hereditary information of an organism, in the form of the gene in the DNA and remain the same throughout life. On the contrary, phenotype describes the visible characteristics, which are the expression of the genes, but these characters change with the period like the stage from infant to adult.
- Genotype consist of the hereditary characters of the organisms, which may or may not get expressed in the next generation. The same genotype produces the same phenotype in a particular environment, but in the case of phenotype, characters are not inherited. Thus we can say that the same phenotypes may or may not belong to the same genotype.
- Genotype represent the genetic material and so present in the cells of a body, sometimes different genotype may also produce similar produce phenotype, like for example RR and Rr produce the same black eye colour as the dominating allele is R and the recessive allele is r. But in the case of phenotype, even a small difference in phenotype will have different genotype, and they are recognised outside the body as the physical appearance.
- A genotype is partly inherited from an individual to the offspring as one of the two alleles, during the reproduction process. The phenotype is the expression of the genetic trait of the parent, but they are not inherited.
- Physical characters like height, hair colour, eye colour, body shape, etc. can be determined by observing the organism, but genetic characters are identified by using scientific tools like Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) which are helpful in finding out the kind of genes on the allele.
In the above content we studied on two confusing terms which are phenotypes and genotypes and how they differ with each other, we also found their relation and dependability on each other.
Winifred Fleet says
Hello; Your genotype/phenotype information is helpful
Thank you -Winifred Fleet