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Record of ancestry or purity of breed. Pedigrees of domesticated animals are maintained by governmental or private record associations or breed organizations in many countries. In human genetics, pedigree diagrams are used to trace the inheritance of a specific trait, abnormality, or disease. Standard symbols are used to represent males, females, mating (marriage), and offspring. The offspring symbols appear from left to right in the order of birth and are connected to the marriage line by a vertical line. Possession of the character under study is shown by a solid or blackened symbol, and absence is shown by an open or clear symbol.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on pedigree, visit Britannica.com.