Recessive gene

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In genetics, a recessive gene refers to a gene that can only be displayed in the phenotype when the individual is homozygous recessive. This means that the individual carries two identical copies of the same gene, which code for the same phenotype. If a heterozygous individual were present, the recessive gene would not be displayed in the individual's phenotype and instead the dominant gene would be displayed. If heterozygous individual carrying the recessive gene were to reproduce with another individual heterozygous for the same gene, there would be a 25% chance of producing a homozygous recessive progeny; which would display the trait.

Examples of recessive genes are blue eye colour, which is recessive to brown eye colour, and wrinkled phenotype of garden peas, which is recessive to its non-wrinkled counterpart [1].

The opposite to dominant. Both alleles required for a phenotype to be expressed.


  1. Genetics: analysis of genes and genomes, 6th edition (2005) Hartl and Jones.
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