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Definition of Trait, dominant lethal

Trait, dominant lethal: A genetic trait that, if present in the genome of the individual, is expressed and therefore precludes the individual's having descendants. All such cases with a dominant lethal trait must necessarily be sporadic and must represent new mutations, not inherited ones because a potential parent with the trait would die and not be able to pass it along.

Source: MedTerms™ Medical Dictionary
http://www.medterms.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=11706
Last Editorial Review: 6/14/2012

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