Dictionary of Human Evolution and Biology

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Presence And Absence Hypothesis

Incorrect proposal by William Bateson that a recessive trait is merely the absence of a dominant allele. Bateson proposed the use of upper- and lower-case letters to represent the dominant and recessive alleles, respectively, a convention still in use today. Recessive alleles are, however, recognized today as genetic entities in their own right, albeit often mutational variants of dominant alleles.

See genetic nomenclature.

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