While the term genomics refers to the characterization
of the DNA constitution of an organism, the term
phenomics refers to the characterization of the
phenotypic, or observable, traits of the organism.
Since genes can be recessive or dominant, whether an
organism visibly exhibits a trait depends upon which
types of genes it inherited from its parents.
When an organism has one gene (allele) that is recessive
and one that is dominant for the same trait, only the
dominate trait will be visible in the final form, or
While genotyping can be performed at early stages of
plant growth using only DNA, phenotypes generally
require observation of the actual plant growth stage of
With recent advances in genotyping technology, it has
become much easier to determine a plant’s genotype than
Thus, there is intense interest in phenomics, which
refers to the development of efficient, high-throughput
methods to determine phenotypes of many individuals for
This extends not only to visible traits such as leaf
shape or fruit color, but also to biochemical or
metabolic traits that may be of interest.