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Difference between Genotype and Phenotype

Difference between Genotype and Phenotype

Genotype vs. Phenotype

What is the Difference between Genotype and Phenotype? Phenotype and genotype are widely used terms, which are used to differentiate the genetic makeup of an organism and how this composition is expressed.

There are interesting differences between Genotype and Phenotype and below this post is all about the differences.

Difference between Genotype and Phenotype


Genotype refers to the actual set of genes that an organism carries within. It’s all the genetic information that is in the DNA.

Basically, the genotype determines the type of traits that can be observed in the phenotype.

For example, the genotypic traits of organisms are what determine their susceptibility to a particular disease.

It is the genotypic variation between the XX and XY chromosomes that determines the sex of the organism.

It is important to clarify that although genotype determines certain characteristics, environmental factors are also important.

The condition of a person and the traits with which he is born are determined by his genotype.

Successive generations of these organisms will also include these characteristics. Each organism has a single class of genotype.

Exceptions can only be made in cases of identical twins, but even in these cases, different phenotypic characteristics may be present; although they have a similar genotype.


When the genes that make up the genotype are expressed in observable traits, then we are talking about the phenotype and these expressions are called the phenotype.

Phenotypes depend on the genes that are inherited, however, their expression is also influenced by environmental factors.

The influence of the environment, to some extent, modifies the role of genes. Briefly, the expression of genes, modified by environmental factors, results in a phenotype.

We previously said that genotype determines how susceptible an organism is to a particular disease because in this case, the phenotype would represent the observable aspects of that disease. Symptoms related to that disease.

In the case of the genotype variation between the XX and XY chromosomes, when we observe the physical differences between a man and a woman; we are observing its phenotypic characteristics.

To conclude, the concepts of genotype and phenotype are not used in an absolute way; but are used to describe and explain in a partial way certain characteristics in organisms.

Key differences between Genotype and Phenotype

  • Genotype has to do with genetics and traits inherited from an organism, while the phenotype refers to the physically observable characteristics of that organism and also has to do with environmental factors.
  • Genotype determines to a large extent what the ultimate phenotype of an organism is.
  • The genotype works internally, while the phenotype is the external expression of the internal process (and the environmental factors that occur).

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