You probably won't be surprised that the genes you (or any other sexually reproducing organism) inherited from your parents can determine outward characteristics — hence the idiom "chip off the old block." The scientific way of stating this rather obvious point is "Genotype (genes) translates into phe-notype (physical traits)." Here are the possibilities:
1 Each different genotype has different phenotypes. Maybe AA makes red flowers, aa makes white flowers, and Aa makes pink flowers — an easy-to-understand example if you know that the A allele codes for a redpigment protein, and the more of that protein the individual makes, the redder the pigment is.
i The genes interact as dominant (represented by a capital letter) and recessive (represented by a small letter). When a recessive allele is paired with a dominant allele, the phenotype is the same as for an individual with two dominant alleles. So in the AA, Aa, and aa example, AA and Aa have one phenotype, and aa has another.
To read more about genotype and phenotype — two key terms in evolutionary biology — go the later section "Genotype and phenotype."
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