Recessive Definition Biology

Explore the concept of recessive traits in biology and how they impact genetic inheritance. Learn about examples, case studies, and statistics.


In biology, the concept of recessive traits plays a crucial role in understanding inheritance patterns and genetic diversity. Let’s explore what recessive means in the context of biology.

What is Recessive?

A recessive trait is a genetic characteristic that is only expressed when an individual carries two copies of the recessive allele. In a heterozygous individual (carrying one dominant and one recessive allele), the dominant allele typically masks the expression of the recessive allele.

Examples of Recessive Traits

  • Blue eyes
  • Blond hair
  • Attached earlobes

Case Study: Recessive Genetic Disorders

One of the most well-known examples of recessive traits in biology is genetic disorders. Diseases like cystic fibrosis and sickle cell anemia are caused by the inheritance of two copies of the recessive allele associated with the disorder.

Statistics on Recessive Traits

According to genetic studies, approximately 25% of offspring from two heterozygous parents will inherit two copies of the recessive allele and exhibit the recessive trait.


Understanding recessive traits is essential for predicting the likelihood of certain genetic characteristics appearing in offspring. By studying recessive traits, scientists can better comprehend the complexities of genetic inheritance.

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