Difference between Dominant and Recessive

Dominant vs. Recessive

What is Difference between Dominant and Recessive? Genes are responsible for determining most of our physical characteristics (if you’re not comfortable with your physique, you know who to blame), but they also play a very important role in our health and even personality. Features like the color of the eyes, hair, skin … we owe them to our genes. Each gene has two alleles, one that comes from the mother and another from the father. Some alleles are dominant and others are recessive, but what does this mean?

Difference between Dominant and Recessive

If you want to know a little bit more about what is the difference between dominant and recessive alleles. Then continue reading.

Dominant Alleles

The dominant alleles are those that determine the visible characteristics. If there is a dominant allele and a recessive allele, the dominant will dominate. When the determined characteristics are visible they are known as phenotype, while the genetic code behind everything is known as genotype.

Regarding eye color, the allele that determines the brown color is dominant (M); while the one that determines the blue color is a recessive allele (a). If a couple (both with brown eyes) have children, they will have brown eyes, and if one partner has blue eyes and one partner has browns it is very likely that the children will have browns; unless they inherit recessive alleles from other members of the family.

When both parents have dominant (different) alleles, the result, i.e., the offspring shows new characteristics as a result of a mixture between the characteristics of the parents. This is due to the fact that when both members have dominant genes there are no way that the genes of one overlap with the other, so the result has to be something different.

Recessive Alleles

On the other hand, recessive alleles are those that are much less likely to express or determine characteristics. Only when they encounter other recessive genes can they be manifested. That is, for the characteristics that are related to the recessive alleles to be made visible it is necessary that both parents have the required recessive alleles.

Finally, unlike what happens with the dominant genes, the recessive are represented with a lowercase letter.

Key Differences between Recessive and Dominant

The dominant alleles are the ones that determine the characteristics that are going to be inherited, whereas the recessive ones have very little possibility of manifesting themselves.

Recessive alleles are represented with a lowercase letter and the dominant ones are capitalized.