Difference Between Genotype and Phenotype

Both the terms, Genotype, and Phenotype, sound absolutely similar. But, they have quite a difference between them.


Science Quiz

Test your knowledge about topics related to science

1 / 10

Marsh gas is

2 / 10

A bond that occurs between nonmetals and nonmetals is called a/an _________.

3 / 10

What is the fuel in the Sun?

4 / 10

An atom is considered to be ____________ when the number of protons and electrons are equal.

5 / 10

Chemical formula for water is

6 / 10

Galvanised iron sheets have a coating of

7 / 10

After a chemical reaction, the properties of the products are __________.

8 / 10

Where does photosynthesis take place?

9 / 10

The filament of an electric bulb is made of

10 / 10

The element common to all acids is

Your score is


Both the terms may be related to the same organism; even then, there is a huge difference between the terms as a whole.

Key Takeaways

  1. Genotype refers to the genetic makeup of an organism, including the specific combination of alleles inherited from both parents.
  2. The phenotype represents an organism’s observable traits or characteristics, resulting from the expression of the genotype and the influence of environmental factors.
  3. Understanding the relationship between genotype and phenotype helps explain trait variations and the impact of genetic and environmental factors on an organism’s appearance and behavior.

Genotype vs Phenotype

Genotype is a part of the genetic area of a cell. In other words, it is a set of genes that are responsible for an organism’s unique and varying traits or characteristics.

Phenotype, on the other hand, is a term which is used to refer to the observable characteristics of an organism. In simple words, the phenotype is the physical appearance of any organism or how it looks from the outside.

Genotype vs Phenotype

Want to save this article for later? Click the heart in the bottom right corner to save to your own articles box!

Both terms are closely interlinked. This is mainly because genotype is one of the three ways to determine the phenotype of an organism.

That is why it is not necessary that organisms with the same or similar genotype would appear similar physically.


Comparison Table

Parameter of ComparisonGenotypePhenotype
MeaningGenotype refers to the set of genes responsible for an organism’s unique characteristics.Phenotype refers to the physical appearance or characteristics of an organism.
PresenceIt is present inside the body in the form of genetic material.It expresses the genes in the form of external appearance.
DeterminationScientific methods like polymerase chain reaction etc., are used to determine Genotype.Phenotypes can be determined by simple observation of an organism.
InherenceGenotype is inherent, which means that an offspring inherits it from its parents.Phenotype, as a whole, cannot be inherited from a parent.
AffectIt is only affected by the genes inherited from the parent.It is affected not only by the genotype but also by other things such as environmental conditions etc.
ExampleExamples of genotypes can be Blood Group, Eye colour, height, or genetic diseases.Phenotype could be weight or physique.


What is Genotype?

Genotype, in technical terms, is a part of the genetic makeup or outlook of a cell. In simple words, it is an organism’s hereditary information in the form of DNA.

Genotype remains constant throughout an organism’s life and cannot be changed by physical factors. This is because an offspring inherit it from its parents.

Genotypes can only be identified through biological tests or scientific methods like a polymerase chain reaction. It cannot be identified through mere observation, mainly because it is present in the cells inside the body.

Genotype is a significant component of forming a Phenotype. This means that the same kind of genotype will produce the same kind of Phenotype.

Moreover, it is only affected by genes and not any other factors, such as environmental conditions. Different types of Genotypes exist, such as homozygous recessive, homozygous dominant or heterozygous.

To better understand, genotypes are the set of genes which are responsible for specific biological traits of an organism, inherited from both parents in case of sexual reproduction. Genotypes can determine various characteristics such as the blood group of an organism; it’s colour of the eye, the height of the organism etc. it is also responsible for carrying off any genetic disease from the parents to the offspring.


What is Phenotype?

Phenotype refers to the characteristics of an organism which are readily observable. In simple words, an organism’s physical appearance or characteristics are referred to as the phenotype.

Phenotype is determined by three factors: the genotype, inherited epigenetic factor, and non-inherited environmental factors. This means that all organisms with the same or similar genotype will not appear or look precisely the same because of the difference in the other two factors determining the phenotype.

It also signifies that the same phenotype may or may not belong to the same genotype because of the other two factors. Apart from that, they aren’t wholly inherited from the parents by the offspring.

Only the genotype part of a phenotype is inherited from the parents. To determine a phenotype, it is not necessary to perform biological or scientific tests because it can be determined by careful observation of the organism under question.

To understand it better, phenotypes are all the observable characteristics which are produced from the interaction of the genotype with the environment. This also suggests that phenotype can undergo numerous changes throughout the life of an organism.

Phenotypes also determine several characteristics of an organism, such as weight or physique, etc.

Main Differences Between Genotype and Phenotype

Genotype and phenotype, even belonging to the same person, are interlinked yet largely distinct.

  1. The first and foremost difference between a Genotype and a Phenotype is that a genotype is present inside the cell as genetic material within the body. In contrast, a phenotype primarily refers to easily observable physical characteristics.
  2. Furthermore, biological and scientific tests or techniques are necessary to be performed to determine the genotype since it is present within the body. On the contrary, phenotype can be easily determined by carefully observing an organism.
  3. Another important distinction is the offspring inherit that genotype from the parent/s, but phenotype, as a whole, is not inherited from the parent/s.
  4. The same genotype will necessarily produce the same phenotype, but the exact phenotype doesn’t need to belong to the same genotype.
  5. Genotype, since present as genetic material, is only affected by genes. Phenotype, on the opposite side, is affected by factors other than genotype, too, like non-inherited environmental factors.
Difference Between Genotype and Phenotype
  1. https://www.karger.com/Article/Abstract/29497
  2. https://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/nejm199310283291804
  3. https://science.sciencemag.org/content/328/5977/469.short
  4. https://www.bmj.com/content/308/6934/942.short
One request?

I’ve put so much effort writing this blog post to provide value to you. It’ll be very helpful for me, if you consider sharing it on social media or with your friends/family. SHARING IS ♥️

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *