Genotype vs. Phenotype – What’s the difference?

The genotype of a plant is its unique DNA sequence. More precisely, this term refers to the two alleles (Parents) that a plant has inherited for a particular gene. The phenotype is the detectable expression of this genotype – the clinical presentation of a plant. The phenotype of a plant results from the interaction between its genotype and its environment.

Simplified example:

Banana Joe x Critical Kush = Banana Crush

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

If ten 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 ten 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 …
  • etc.

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

If this explanation is not enough for you, you should google “Mendel’s rules”. Meanwhile there are numerous articles that go into the bionomic processes and Mendel’s rules in more detail, which can be very helpful. We recommend everyone who is considering breeding to read about them.