Difference Between Phenotype and Genotype

The terms Genotype and phenotype may sound similar but there is a huge difference between genotype and phenotype. The genotype is a set of genes in DNA responsible for unique trait or characteristics while the phenotype is the physical appearance or characteristic of an organism.


The human genetic code could be found by their genotype. It determines the traits which will be expressed. Organisms that look same do not have the same genotype. Genotype can be determined by biological tests.

Also Read: Genetics


Like discussed earlier, both the genotype and phenotype sounds similar but has differences. The phenotype is determined by an individual’s genotype and expressed genes or by visible trait, for instance, hair colour or type, eye colour body shape, and height. It depends on the genotype but also influenced by the factors in the environment.

Let us have a look at the major difference between genotype and phenotype.

Difference between Genotype and Phenotype

Following are the important difference between genotype and phenotype.

Genotype Phenotype
The hereditary information of the organism in the form of gene in the DNA and remains the same throughout the life. The characters of an organism which are visible are known as phenotypes.
Same genotype produces same phenotype. Same phenotype may or may not belong to same genotype.
Present inside the body as genetic material. Expression of genes as the external appearence.
The genotype is inherited from the parent to the offspring. The phenotype is not inherited from the parent.
It can be determined by scientific methods such as the polymerase chain reaction. It can be determined by observing the organism.
It is affected by genes. It is affected by genotype and environmental conditions.
For eg., Blood group, eye colour, height, genetic diseases. For eg., Weight, physique, beak of birds

Also Read: Mendel’s law of Inheritance

For more information on the difference between genotype and phenotype, keep visiting BYJU’S website or download BYJU’S app for further reference.

Frequently Asked Questions

What do you mean by genotype?

The set of genes in our DNA responsible for a particular trait is known as genotype. It is the chemical composition of the DNA which gives rise to the phenotype. Organisms with even a slight difference in their genes are said to have different genotypes.

What is meant by phenotype?

The physical characteristics of an organism which are the outcome of the interaction of the genotype with the environment are known as the phenotype. It depends upon the genes which are dominant. Shape. size, colour, the behaviour is the phenotype of an organism.

What are the different types of genotypes?

The different types of genotypes are- homozygous recessive (pp), homozygous dominant (PP), and heterozygous (Pp). The homozygous dominant and the heterozygous genotypes show the same phenotypes.

How are alleles different from genotypes?

Alleles are the variants of genes, whereas, the set of genes responsible for certain traits are known as genotypes. However, both determine biological traits but the copies might not be the same.

How are genotype and phenotype related?

Genotype and phenotype are two different concepts but are closely related to each other. Phenotype refers to the physical traits that are observed in an organism which are the outcome of the expression of the genes of an individual. The genotype determines the phenotype of an individual.

Are genotypes heterozygous?

Genotypes can be homozygous or heterozygous. Heterozygous genotypes express dominant traits. A recessive trait is expressed if the genotype has two recessive alleles.

What factors determine the genotype of an individual?

The genotype of an individual is influenced by environmental factors in which the organism lives or the internal body environment of an organism such as hormones and metabolism.

How do you identify a genotype?

A genotype can be identified by a Punnet square. It helps in determining the probability of the genotype of an offspring based on the genotype of the parents.


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