The word genotype refers to the genetic makeup of an organism; in other words, it describes the complete set of genes in an organism. In a more restricted sense, the term can be used to refer to the alleles , or variant forms of a gene, that are carried by an organism. Humans are diploid organisms , which means they have two alleles at each genetic position or locus, with one allele inherited from each parent. Each pair of alleles represents the genotype of a specific gene . The external appearance, or phenotype, is the result of the interactions of proteins created by DNA .


What is a genotype?

The genotype of an organism is the chemical composition of its DNA, which forms the phenotype , or observable traits, of an organism. A genotype consists of all the nucleic acids present in a DNA molecule that encodes a particular trait.

  • History
  • Genotype characteristics
  • Difference between genotype and phenotype
  • Determination
  • Types
  • Genotype example


The word genotype comes from the root geno which means lineage or birth and in other cases from the Latin genus, and from the word generis which have a very similar meaning. In addition, it is composed of the word typos that means mark, footprint or type, related to the verb typtein that means to hit. It was proposed and coined by Wilhelm Johannsen , who was a Dutch chemist, and established the difference between phenotype and genotype. These terms were proposed and are important to distinguish the source of knowledge from an observer observing DNA and to know the phenotype by observing the external appearance of an organism.


Genotype characteristics

Among the main characteristics that we can mention regarding the genotype are:

  • They are a set of genes that characterize species , whether plant or animal.
  • They have a DNA format and humans receive it through inheritance from their parents.
  • The genes that are in charge of transmitting the characters of heredity are always in the nucleus of the cell.
  • It manifests itself on the outside and includes all the physical features that individuals possess.
  • It can be distinguished when looking at the DNA .
  • The phenotype is the one that is responsible for manifesting hereditary diseases .

Difference between genotype and phenotype

The difference that exists with the phenotype is that the genotype refers to the set of genes that an individual carries inside his body, and all this information is located in the DNA , which is responsible for determining the different traits or characteristics that can be observed in the phenotype, including those that determine its susceptibility to a certain disease. The genotype is the variation between the XX and XY chromosomes , which is responsible for determining the sex of the individual. In the genotype, environmental factorsthey can influence in some way. The genotype is unique for each person and there is only one type of it in the human body.

The phenotype occurs when the genes that make up the genotype are expressed in the individual through characteristics that can be observed with the naked eye. They depend on the genes that are inherited and are also influenced by environmental aspects . The phenotype indicates or shows us, for example, the symptoms of a certain disease.


The method used to investigate the type of genotype is known as genotyping or genetic characterization . This is a specific process for a biological organism through a procedure that is performed in the laboratory . It is a method used to find and find out the genetic information of an individual. This test can be applied to any type of organism, including microorganisms , viruses and bacteria . This test when applied to viruses is done in order to find the spread of pathogensidentifying possible sources of infection. Human genotyping is used to determine paternity tests and to determine if there is a relationship between two or more people. Among the most common methods you are to perform genotyping are the PCR , DNA sequencing , probes ASO and hybridization on arrays micro DNA or spheres.


There are 6 types of genotype that are:

  • Hunter : they are the individuals that have shape and stylized muscle, their digestive system is veiled and they are allergic.
  • Gatherer : they tend to gain weight and accumulate calories in the form of fat.
  • Teacher : they are strong and stable, they have an excellent metabolism.
  • Explorer : enjoys longevity, but suffers from environmental and chemical hypersensitivity .
  • Guerrero : it is difficult for them to lose weight, they recover well from illnesses.
  • Nomad : they are very adaptable, control caloric intake well and age healthily.

Genotype example

Some examples of genotype types are as follows:

  • Predisposition or tendency to contract and suffer from diseases and disorders.
  • Predisposition or tendency to gain and lose muscle mass and tone.
  • Predisposition or intolerance to the consumption of certain foods.
  • The types of blood.
  • Longevity and old age.

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