Define single genes?

1 Answer
Feb 21, 2018

A trait controlled by only one gene.


Assuming that you're referring to single-gene traits, a single-gene trait is a trait that is controlled by only one gene. An example in humans is whether you have a widow's peak - your hairline forming a small point over the middle of your forehead - or not.

The opposite of this is a polygenic trait, or a trait controlled by multiple genes. An example of this is your height - because you have to factor in the length of your legs, your neck, your back, your skull shape, etc.

This can include multiple alleles - or a trait that is controlled by one gene, but has more than 2 possible alleles. An example is blood type - there is an #I^A# allele, a #I^B# allele, and an #i# allele, but your blood type (or this system, at least) is still controlled by one gene.