polymorphism

2 ENTRIES FOUND:

poly·mor·phism

noun \ˌpä-lē-ˈmr-ˌfi-zəm\

Definition of POLYMORPHISM

:  the quality or state of existing in or assuming different forms: as
a (1) :  existence of a species in several forms independent of the variations of sex
(2) :  existence of a gene in several allelic forms; also :  a variation in a specific DNA sequence (3) :  existence of a molecule (as an enzyme) in several forms in a single species
b :  the property of crystallizing in two or more forms with distinct structure
poly·mor·phic \-fik\ adjective
poly·mor·phi·cal·ly \-fi-k(ə-)lē\ adverb

First Known Use of POLYMORPHISM

1839

poly·mor·phism

noun \ˌpäl-i-ˈmr-ˌfiz-əm\   (Medical Dictionary)

Medical Definition of POLYMORPHISM

: the quality or state of existing in or assuming different forms: as a (1) : existence of a species in several forms independent of the variations of sex (2) : existence of a gene in several allelic forms (3) : existence of a molecule (as an enzyme) in several forms in a single species b : the property of crystallizing in two or more forms with distinct structure

polymorphism

noun    (Concise Encyclopedia)

Discontinuous genetic variation that results in the occurrence of several different forms or types of individuals among the members of a single species. The most obvious example of polymorphism is the separation of most higher organisms into male and female sexes. Another example is the different blood types in humans. A polymorphism that persists over many generations is usually maintained because no one form has an overall advantage or disadvantage over the others in terms of natural selection. Some polymorphisms have no visible manifestations. The castes that occur in social insects are a special form of polymorphism that results from differences in nutrition rather than from genetic variation.

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