Wild-type

Topic: Mendelian Concepts

The allele that encodes the most common phenotype or genotype among a particular population and is considered the standard or norm is called the wild-type allele.

In a gene pool there are many different alleles that a species can have. When many alleles exist for the same gene, the most common phenotype or genotype among a population is denoted as the wild-type. It is often abbreviated, in genetic shorthand, as “+”. Wild-type is considered the standard or norm. All other phenotypes or genotypes other than the wild-type are regarded as variants of this standard. 

Practice Questions

Khan Academy


Key Points

• The wild-type, often abbreviated as “+”, is the standard or norm of allele and is the most prevalent phenotype or genotype among a particular population; any other phenotype or genotype is variants other than the wild-type.


Key Terms

wild-type: the standard or normal allele or phenotype for an organism

allele: different types of the same gene on a chromosome

phenotype: relating to the observable characteristics of an individual resulting from the interaction of its genotype with the environment.

genotype: the characteristics coded for by alleles



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