Characteristics of Polygenic Inheritance


Polygenes can be defined as ‘two or more different pairs of alleles which have a cumulative effect and govern quantitative characters‘.

Characteristics of Polygenic Inheritance:

It has been suggested that multiple gene inheritance may have the following characteristics:

1. Polygenic characters can be quantified by measuring, weighing, or counting.
2. The effects of each contributing gene are cumulative or additive, because many genes may be involved. The inheritance of this type is called polygenic or quantitative.
3. Each contributing allele in a series produces an equal effect.
4. The total effect of each additive allele at each locus is approximately equivalent to all other additive alleles at other gene loci.
5. Each gene locus may be occupied by either an additive allele or by non-additive allele.
6. There is no dominance involved.
7. Epistasis doesn’t exist among genes at different loci.
8. No linkage is involved in the process.
9. Analysis of polygenic traits requires the study of a large number of progenies.
10. Effect of environment influences genetic variation.
11. Quantitative inheritance is important in agriculture and helps in controlling traits that are concerned with better, bigger, heavier, high-yielding, or more vigorous varieties of plants and animals of economic value.