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What does "genotype" mean?

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The meaning of "genotype" is the internal genetic makeup of an organism or cell. The genetic makeup of an organism determines its physical characteristics and predicts the physical characteristics of its progeny.

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The term "genotype" is typically used in reference to a specific characteristic. Essentially, genotype refers to all of the genes that an organism carries, regardless of whether those genes are expressed. Organisms that reproduce sexually typically have two copies of a specific gene. In some cases, a gene can be recessive to another counterpart gene, which means that if the counterpart gene is present, it is expressed in lieu of the recessive gene. Therefore, it is possible for an organism to carry a recessive gene without expressing it, and although the gene is not physically apparent, it can be passed onto future progeny. The organism is said to have a recessive trait.

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