lethal gene

noun

: a gene that in some (such as homozygous) conditions may prevent development or cause the death of an organism or its germ cells

called also lethal factor, lethal mutant, lethal mutation

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web Once mature, the GMO males mate with local wild females, passing along the lethal gene that makes their female offspring die. Sandee Lamotte, CNN, 30 Apr. 2021 Oxitec researchers then developed a second-generation mosquito with the self-limiting lethal gene that would only last for a few generations. Eric Niiler, Wired, 24 Sep. 2020 Oxitec’s latest strain of GM mosquitoes is designed to spread the lethal gene more effectively. Kelly Servick, Science | AAAS, 17 Sep. 2019 Shelton is releasing males carrying a lethal gene that eventually kills all female offspring. Sarah Zhang, The Atlantic, 8 Sep. 2017 The lethal gene kills the mosquito in two to three days. jsonline.com, 5 Oct. 2017 The lethal gene in an Oxitec mosquito does come from a lab strain of E. coli. jsonline.com, 5 Oct. 2017 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'lethal gene.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Word History

First Known Use

1939, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of lethal gene was in 1939

Dictionary Entries Near lethal gene

Cite this Entry

“Lethal gene.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/lethal%20gene. Accessed 6 Dec. 2022.

Kids Definition

lethal gene

noun

: a gene capable of preventing development or causing the death of a living thing or its germ cells

Medical Definition

lethal gene

noun

: a gene that in some (as homozygous) conditions may prevent development or cause the death of an organism or its germ cells

called also lethal factor, lethal mutant, lethal mutation

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