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Hemizygosity

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Definition

noun

A genetic condition where there is only one copy of a gene in an otherwise diploid cell or organism.


Supplement

For example, a copy of a gene that is deleted will result in hemizygosity in a diploid cell or organism. Hemizygosity is also displayed in human males where there is only one X chromosome (as the other sex chromosome is a Y chromosome). In another example, male honeybees are hemizygous as they develop from unfertilized eggs (unlike female honeybees that develop from fertilized eggs and thus have two sets of genes).


Word origin: Greek hēmi- half + zygosity.
Related forms: hemizygous (adjective)

Compare: homozygosity, heterozygosity
See also: zygosity