center Genotype and Phenotype


All living things are ...
... the outward physical manifestation of
internally coded, inheritable, information.

There are two parts to this definition ...
PhenotypeThis is the "outward, physical manifestation" of the organism. These are the physical parts, the sum of the atoms, molecules, macromolecules, cells, structures, metabolism, energy utilization, tissues, organs, reflexes and behaviors; anything that is part of the observable structure, function or behavior of a living organism.

GenotypeThis is the "internally coded, inheritable information" carried by all living organisms. This stored information is used as a "blueprint" or set of instructions for building and maintaining a living creature. These instructions are found within almost all cells (the "internal" part), they are written in a coded language (the genetic code), they are copied at the time of cell division or reproduction and are passed from one generation to the next ("inheritable"). These instructions are intimately involved with all aspects of the life of a cell or an organism. They control everything from the formation of protein macromolecules, to the regulation of metabolism and synthesis.

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Science at a Distance
© 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000 Professor John Blamire