Medical Definition of Homozygote

  • Medical Author:
    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.

Homozygote: A person who has two identical forms of a particular gene, one inherited from each parent.

For example, a girl who is a homozygote for cystic fibrosis (CF) received the cystic fibrosis gene from both of her parents and therefore has cystic fibrosis.

The opposite of a homozygote is a heterozygote, a person who has two different forms of a particular gene. For example, the father and mother of a cystic fibrosis child are heterozygotes for cystic fibrosis (CF). Each carries one normal gene and one cystic fibrosis gene but has no signs or symptoms of the disease.

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Reviewed on 12/11/2018

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