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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
First recorded in 1935-40 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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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.

  • It is interesting in that the males which receive the lethal factor sometimes live long enough to hatch.

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

    Applied Eugenics Paul Popenoe and Roswell Hill Johnson
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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