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unit-characterMerkmalseinheit (ger.)

  • A character inherited according to Mendelian laws, esp. one controlled by a single pair of alleles. (OED)

    Each such character, which is capable of being dissociated or replaced by its contrary, must henceforth be conceived of as a distinct unit-character; and as we know that the several unit-characters are of such a nature that any one of them is capable of independently displacing or being displaced by one or more alternative characters taken singly, we may recognize this fact by naming such unit-characters allelomorphs.

    Bateson, W. (1902). The problems of heredity and their solution (Scientific Papers vol. 2, Cambridge 1928, 4-28): 22.