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Genotype and Phenotype

Genotype refers to the "genetic potential" of an individual: what kind of genes s/he carries. Phenotype refers to the traits an individual actually shows. In Mendel's experiments, crossing (breeding together) tall pea plants and short pea plants produced pea plants with a tall phenotype -- they are tall plants. But Mendel discovered that if he bred these tall plants, short plants reappeared in the next generation. This means their genotype -- their "genetic potential" -- had the capacity for producing short plants, even though it did not show up in their phenotype.