Glossary of Biological Terms

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Q

quantitative character

A heritable feature in a population that varies continuously as a result of environmental influences and the additive effect of two or more genes (polygenic inheritance).

quaternary structure

The particular shape of a complex, aggregate protein, defined by the characteristic three-dimensional arrangement of its constituent subunits, each a polypeptide.

queen

In social insects (ants, termites, and some species of bees and wasps), the fertile, or fully developed, female whose function is to lay eggs.

quiescent center

A region located within the zone of cell division in plant roots, containing meristematic cells that divide very slowly.

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