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lethal gene

noun, Genetics.
a gene that under certain conditions causes the death of an organism.
Also called lethal factor, lethal mutation.
Origin of lethal gene
1935-40 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for lethal factor
Historical Examples
  • The other half of the sons will survive, but will not transmit the lethal factor.

  • The lethal factor is the one which Darwin himself most emphasized.

    Applied Eugenics Paul Popenoe and Roswell Hill Johnson
  • This result is due to a lethal factor, lethal 5, which appeared in this culture for the first time.

  • Selection by death may result either from inadequate food supply, or from some other lethal factor.

    Applied Eugenics Paul Popenoe and Roswell Hill Johnson
  • It is interesting in that the males which receive the lethal factor sometimes live long enough to hatch.

lethal factor in Medicine

lethal factor n.
A gene mutation or chromosomal structural change that when expressed causes death before sexual maturity.

lethal gene n.
A gene whose expression results in the death of the organism.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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