The study of biological inheritance. There are two branches of genetics called the Mendelian and the biometrical. Mendelians study single-gene characters, which are either present or absent with no intermediates. Biometricians study many-gene (polygenic) characters, which are continuously variable between a minimum and a maximum. Some scientists recognise a third branch called population genetics, which studies the changing frequencies of Mendelian genes within a natural population. However, this term should not be confused with the very different population breeding. Obviously, a good geneticist studies all aspects of genetics equally. Plant and animal breeding are sometimes described as applied genetics. Gene-transfer breeding See: Pedigree breeding. Genome

The monoploid set of chromosomes which, in a homozygous plant, occurs in a gamete, and consists of all the genes. A term often used loosely to mean the complete set of genes in a plant.

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