Incomplete Penetrance

Term Definition
Incomplete Penetrance
Refers to the phenomenon when some animals with the genotype for a certain trait do not show the correlating phenotype. In other words, penetrance describes the proportion of animals for a certain genotype that display the phenotype. You would think this should always be one but sometimes it takes a second trigger (a second gene or something in the environment) to cause the phenotype to be displayed. A recent example of incomplete penetrance is Developmental Duplication where some of the individuals that are homozygous for the recessive allele (and should display duplicated body parts) have no outward sign of the condition.

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