Definition: in genetics, a feature that can conveniently and effectively be analyzed by sorting into classes either because there is no satisfactory way of measuring it (as with blood groups) or because it falls into natural classes so that the variation among classes far exceeds that within classes (the phenotypic effects of many enzyme polymorphisms); existence of categories suggests but does not prove the operation of a major, simple, underlying cause.
Synonym(s): qualitative trait
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