Biology Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for biology researchers, academics, and students. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

Can I have a list of suggestions, such as the mutated allele, other allele, etc. ? Are there any blatantly missing ones on my short list?

share|improve this question
List-type questions don't work well here. Your question is a bit borderline, so we'll see what everyone else thinks. One that you are missing is mutant allele. – dd3 Jun 28 '13 at 20:10
If not wt then it is a mutant. – Kevin Jun 28 '13 at 20:48

Usually its major allele and minor allele. When you hear this language, you feel that the major allele is the 'wild' type, but its more precise to avoid 'wild'.

This language avoids the question of which one is 'wild' since different populations may have different ratios of the two.

share|improve this answer
This is a nomenclature I have almost only heard in bioinformatics context. In most biological literature I have generally seen "wild type" vs "mutant". Although the point about the different population is true one may argue that using major and minor brings confusion as the same allele can be major in a population and minor in another... – nico Jul 10 '13 at 19:32
how do they know which allele is wild type? you would only know if you were doing an experiment where you created the mutant yourself I would think. – shigeta Jul 11 '13 at 5:09
I am not saying that wt/mutant is a better nomenclature in absolute, just that it is - probably for historical reasons - the one most commonly used (the wild type nomenclature if you wish :P). In general you would use wt for the allele most abundant in the general population. – nico Jul 11 '13 at 6:05

Wild type refers to the phenotype of the typical form. Normally it is wild type is being compared to a mutant allele because the allele is not longer typical. So the answer would an allele that is not typical which, in most cases is a mutated allele.

share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.