qualitative inheritancea genetical system in which (usually) a small number of genes is involved in the control of a particular CHARACTER. Qualitative characters show discrete forms (rather than continuously varying forms, see POLYGENIC INHERITANCE) and are not normally affected by the environment to any large extent. The major genes in the system can often be detected individually and obey the laws of MENDELIAN GENETICS. The proportions of the various forms of character observed in a progeny can be compared with the expected proportions, using a CHI-SQUARE TEST.
Collins Dictionary of Biology, 3rd ed. © W. G. Hale, V. A. Saunders, J. P. Margham 2005