Definition of polygene in English:


Syllabification: pol·y·gene
Pronunciation: /ˈpäliˌjēn


  • A gene whose individual effect on a phenotype is too small to be observed, but which can act together with others to produce observable variation.
    More example sentences
    • Dormancy is a genetically complex trait controlled by polygenes with effects modified by the genetic background and environmental factors.
    • Traditional quantitative genetic theory proposes that genetic variation in a quantitative trait is due to polygenes each with a small effect on the phenotype and being sensitive to the environment.
    • The effects of polygenes on the ability to map oligogenes have been documented and taken into account in algorithms used for commonly used genetic crosses.


1940s: back-formation from polygenic.

More definitions of polygene

Definition of polygene in:

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove adverts and access premium resources

Word of the day milord
Pronunciation: mɪˈlɔːd
used to address an English nobleman