Share this entry

lethal gene Syllabification: le·thal gene

Definition of lethal gene in English:


A gene that is capable of causing the death of an organism, usually during the development of the embryo. Also called lethal factor, lethal mutation.
Example sentences
  • Second, this system makes possible the generation of transgenic lines that carry lethal genes or genes for toxic proteins and enables the functional analysis of these genes as well as the targeted destruction of a cell or tissue.
  • To screen the genome for zygotic genes required for normal PCD without bias against lethal genes, we have performed a screen of genetic deficiencies (chromosomal deletions).
  • This method magnifies the effect of heterozygous mutations on the posterior phenotypes, thus identifying even lethal genes involved in the targeted process.

Share this entry


What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove ads and access premium resources

Word of the day innocuous
Pronunciation: iˈnäkyo͞oəs
not harmful or offensive