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Research Vocabulary

More terms are available in a glossary used at The Jackson Laboratory.

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Center for Functional Genomics at Northwestern University

National Institutes of Health

Research Vocabulary

Backcross
A type of genetic cross in which a hybrid strain is crossed to one of the two parental strains.
Forward Genetics
Comparing to reverse genetic approach, in which mutations are produced by replacement of a gene, forward genetic approach uses mutagenesis to produce a gene mutation and perform screening procedures to study gene function.
Genotype
the genetic constitution of an organism, as distinguished from its physical appearance (its phenotype).
Heritability
The capability of a trait being passed from one generation to the next
Mutagenesis
Treatment of a group of cells or organisms with a mutagen as a means of inducing mutations.
Mutant
A term applied to a gene, phenotype or organism altered by mutation.
Phenotype
the observable properties of an organism; produced by the genotype in conjunction with the environment.
Phenotype-driven
Used by forward genetics, phenotypic screens are designed to identify heritable abnormalities of an organism which are mutagenized using a mutagenesis approach. The mutation is mapped and gene function is therefore discovered.
Progeny
Offspring or descendants considered as a group
Putant
Stands for putative mutant. Mice exhibit an altered phenotype, but the heritability of the phenotype is not confirmed.