|Heterozygous, Homozygous, and Hemizygous|
Heterozygous, Homozygous, and Hemizygous
The genotype for a single gene in a diploid organism often referred to as being either homozygous, heterozygous or hemizygous. These terms are a shorthand way of describing the genotypes.
The three terms are derived from Greek words.
The Root word for all three terms, "zygous" is derived from the Greek word zugos which means yoked. Zygous refers to the fact that each gene in a diploid organism has two "yoked" alleles. Similarly, the word zygote refers to cell that results from the fusion of two haploid cells (egg and sperm) to make a new diploid cell.
|Homozygous.||Homo means "same or common". Homozygous means that both alleles are the same.|
|Genotypes such as BB, bb, B1B1 are homozygous.|
|Heterozygous||Hetero means "different". Heterozygous means that the two alleles are not the same.|
|Thus, genotypes such as Bb, or B1B2
|Hemizygous.||Hemi means "half". The
term hemizygous is actually an oxymoron. It literally means
More technically, hemizygous means that there is only one allele (instead of two) in a diploid cell.
This might reflect a normal condition such as a sex-linked gene or it might reflect an abnormal condition where one of the autosomal genes is missing.
For a sex-linked gene Xa, the male with genotype XaY would be hemizygous.
Basic Dominance Issues
|1||Naming of Dominance Relationships|
|2||Dominance for Autosomal Genes|
|3||Fixing a New Dominant Mutation|
|4||Some Dominance Practice Problems.|
|Review the terms homozygous, heterozyogus and hemizygous|