Wild - type

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"Normal, nonmutant form of an organism; the form found in nature (i.e. in the wild)" [1].

A wild-type is an organism with the most common genotype or phenotype within a natural population. The wild-type allele is the normal, natural isolate of a gene.

However the wild-type can also be arbitually designated to a certain genotype or phenotype, as a standard of comparison, for example to a mutant organism [2].

When writing out Punnett squares the symbol used to signify the wild type is a +.

The Drosophila fruit fly was one of the first organisms to be researched for the wild type theory. This was done by a scientist called Thomas Hunt Morgan who discovered in an isolated population the majority of fly’s had red eyes but only a small few had white eyes therefore these were termed the mutant and the red eye fly’s being the most common phenotype in the population were termed the wild type. [3]


  1. Bruce Alberts, Alexander Johnson, Julian Lewis, Martin Raff, Keith Roberts, Peter Walter (2008) Molecular Biology of THE CELL. 5th ed. United States of America, Garland Science.
  2. Daniel L. Hartl, Maryellen Ruvolo (2012) Genetics, Analysis of Genes and Genomes. 8th ed. USA. Higher Education
  3. Wild Type - Gene, Phenotype, Mutation, and Genetic - JRank Articles . 2014. Wild Type - Gene, Phenotype, Mutation, and Genetic - JRank Articles . [ONLINE] Available at: http://science.jrank.org/pages/7387/Wild-Type.html. [Accessed 28 November 2014].

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