Glossary of Biological Terms



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.


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.