Hitchhiker’s Thumb is inherited during meiosis, a process during sexual reproduction where chromosomes are randomly distributed between cells, according to the Regional Professional Development Program (RPDP). During this process various traits are passed along from each parent to their offspring. If any parent possesses the hitchhiker’s thumb gene (HH), a recessive trait, they can produce a child with the same gene.
Although a person may possess a gene, it is not always visible, explains the RPDP. This gene may remain physically unseen if it is influenced by other factors that overpower the trait. The gene can also skip a generation; for example, if a person receives the hitchhiker’s thumb trait from their parent, but it is not visible, they could pass along the gene to their offspring.
A recessive trait is one that occurs in two distinct forms; people require two copies of the same allele in order to demonstrate the trait associated with the gene. For example, according to Southwest Tennessee Community College, the human chin cleft is a recessive trait; in order for the cleft to develop a person must receive a copy of the cleft gene from both parents. Another example of a recessive trait in humans is freckled skin.