Genotype vs. Phenotype – What’s the difference?

Genotype and phenotype are terms used in genetics and refer to the characteristics of plants.

Genotype refers to all the genetic information of a plant stored in its chromosomes. This includes both visible traits (e.g. color of flowers or shape of leaves) and invisible traits (e.g. susceptibility to certain diseases).

Phenotype refers to the visible and measurable characteristics of a plant that are determined by the interaction of genotype and environmental conditions. For example, a plant’s height can be affected by its genotype, as well as the amount of light and nutrients it receives.

It is important to note that a plant’s phenotype does not necessarily reflect its genotype. For example, a plant may have a specific gene for blue flowers, but if it grows in an environment with low light, it may still produce pink flowers. Therefore, it is possible for two plants to have the same genotype but have different phenotypes.

Simplified example:

Banana Joe x Critical Kush = Banana Crush

These two parents gave the variety “Banana Crush” a unique DNA.

If 12 seeds of this genotype (Banana Crush) are planted, each plant will have its own characteristics. These characteristics make up the phenotype of each plant. Growth, appearance, smell and taste are only a few examples.

Each of the 12 seed plants will taste slightly different but will be very similar at best (this depends on the generation of the genotype variety and how stable it is).

  • Pheno #1 – Could have very Sativa heavy leaves
  • Pheno #2 – Has more hybrid heavy duty blades with high resin content
  • Pheno #3 – Characterized by its compact growth
  • Pheno #4 – Grows fast with many strong side branches
  • Pheno #5 – …
  • etc.

The individual phenotypes could be distinguished from which the respective breeder can then choose his favorite, which is most appealing to him.

If you want to learn more about this topic, we recommend you to have a look at Mendel’s inheritance of traits.

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