Definition of polygene in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈpɒlɪdʒiːn/


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.
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.

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: poly|gene

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