Recessive Trait

Last updated: November 19, 2021

What Does Recessive Trait Mean?

A plant’s recessive trait refers to a particular genetic characteristic that is usually masked by one of the dominant genes. This trait was first discovered by Gregor Mendel, a 19th-century Austrian monk who performed experiments on pea plants. A vast majority of breeders prefer to work with plants that display recessive traits since there is less work to be done with true breeding lines.


Maximum Yield Explains Recessive Trait

Gregor Mendel first discovered recessive traits after crossing white-flowered pea plants with purple-flowered ones. This experiment resulted in purple offspring, that he later crossed with each other.

This particular experiment showed that 25% of the new generation offspring were white and 75% were purple. The white showed to have the recessive trait. As Mendel pointed out, the white offspring were masked by the dominant purple ones.

Over the course of seven years, Mendel continued to experiment on the peas by enabling them to self-pollinate. In his 1866 publication of, "Experiment in Plant Hybridization," Mendel suggest that although a recessive factor is invisible or marked, it may still be passed down to the next generation.



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