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Dominance vs. Codominance — What's the Difference?

Edited by Tayyaba Rehman — By Fiza Rafique — Published on October 28, 2023
Dominance refers to one allele masking the effect of another, while codominance involves both alleles expressing themselves simultaneously.
Dominance vs. Codominance — What's the Difference?

Difference Between Dominance and Codominance


Key Differences

In the world of genetics, Dominance and Codominance are two fundamental concepts that describe how different versions of genes, called alleles, affect the outcome of certain traits.
Dominance is a scenario in which one allele suppresses the expression of another allele. When a dominant allele is present, the characteristic it codes for is visible, irrespective of the other allele's presence. On the other hand, Codominance is when two different alleles for a single trait are both expressed at the same time. This doesn't mean one overpowers or hides the other; instead, both alleles manifest and contribute to the organism's phenotype.
To picture Dominance, imagine a white flower and a red flower producing a wholly red offspring. Contrastingly, Codominance would result in an offspring that exhibits both colors distinctly, perhaps as a red and white spotted flower.

Comparison Chart


One allele masks the effect of another.
Both alleles express themselves simultaneously.

Phenotypic Outcome

Determined by the dominant allele only.
Mixture or side-by-side expression of both alleles.


Red flower (dominant) masks white flower.
Red and white spotted flower.

Allele Interaction

One allele is dominant over the other.
Both alleles are equally dominant.

Resultant Organism Appearance

Displays the trait of the dominant allele.
Displays traits of both alleles distinctly.

Compare with Definitions


A hierarchical position in social or other structures.
The lion displays dominance over other animals in the savannah.


A manifestation of two alleles without blending.
In chickens, codominance can produce a feather pattern that is both black and white.


Predominance or superior influence in a particular area.
The team's dominance was clear throughout the game.


Neither allele is recessive or masked by another.
The blood type AB demonstrates codominance of A and B alleles.


Control exerted by one of a pair of organs or parts.
Right-hand dominance is common among humans.


Equal representation of two distinct traits.
The horse's coat showed codominance with both brown and white patches.


A principle in genetics where one allele masks another.
In certain pea plants, the allele for tallness shows dominance over the allele for shortness.


Simultaneous expression of characteristics from two alleles.
Codominance in certain snakes results in multiple, distinct color patterns.


The power or influence exerted by one entity over others.
The company's dominance in the market is evident.


A genetic scenario where two alleles express themselves equally.
In certain flowers, codominance results in petals that are both red and white.


The condition or fact of being dominant.


A heterozygous condition in which both alleles at a gene locus are fully expressed in the phenotype.


The state of being dominant; of prime importance; supremacy.


(genetics) A condition in which both alleles of a gene pair in a heterozygote are fully expressed, with neither one being dominant or recessive to the other.


Being in a position of power, authority or ascendancy over others.


(physiology) The superior development of or preference for one side of the body or one of a pair of organs; such as being right-handed.


The property of a gene such that it suppresses the expression of its allele.


Predominance; ascendency; authority.


Superior development of one side of the body


The state that exists when one person or group has power over another;
Her apparent dominance of her husband was really her attempt to make him pay attention to her


The power or right to give orders or make decisions;
He has the authority to issue warrants
Deputies are given authorization to make arrests

Common Curiosities

How can I visualize codominance?

Think of codominance as a striped or spotted appearance, where both colors (or traits) are distinct.

Does dominance mean an allele is more common?

No, dominance doesn't necessarily correlate with allele frequency; it's about expression, not prevalence.

In the case of dominance, will the recessive trait disappear?

No, the recessive trait remains but is masked by the dominant trait; it can still be passed.

What is dominance in genetics?

Dominance refers to the scenario where one allele masks or suppresses the expression of another allele.

Why might codominance be evolutionarily advantageous?

Codominance can offer variety in traits, potentially providing adaptive advantages in changing environments.

What is codominance?

Codominance is when two different alleles for a trait express themselves simultaneously and distinctly.

Is codominance common in nature?

It's found in various species, like certain flowers, animals, and even in human blood types.

Can dominance and codominance occur together?

No, they are separate genetic phenomena with distinct outcomes.

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Author Spotlight

Written by
Fiza Rafique
Fiza Rafique is a skilled content writer at, where she meticulously refines and enhances written pieces. Drawing from her vast editorial expertise, Fiza ensures clarity, accuracy, and precision in every article. Passionate about language, she continually seeks to elevate the quality of content for readers worldwide.
Tayyaba Rehman is a distinguished writer, currently serving as a primary contributor to As a researcher in semantics and etymology, Tayyaba's passion for the complexity of languages and their distinctions has found a perfect home on the platform. Tayyaba delves into the intricacies of language, distinguishing between commonly confused words and phrases, thereby providing clarity for readers worldwide.

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