Pleiotropy happens when one gene is responsible for more than one trait or phenotype. [1][2] A single gene may have many unrelated phenotypic effects [3]

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Copyright Mumtaztic Loft 2014

In chickens, the dominant gene for feathers that curl outward also impacted other phenotypic traits, including body temperature, blood flow, egg laying, and metabolic rates [4] The one gene responsible for feather texture also 

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© 2004 Richard Blatchford, Dept. of Animal Science UC Davis. All rights reserved.

influenced multiple other factors in chicken.

Pleiotropy in humans is commonly associated with disease. Marfan's Syndrome is an example of one gene being responsible for a multitude of physical symptoms. By experiencing a mutation in that single gene, people suffering from Marfan's Syndrome experience many different symptoms. [5]

1) "Pleiotropy." n.p., 2015. 09 March 2015.

2) "Pigeon Genetics." Mumtaztic Loft. 2014. 09 March 2015.

3)  Lobo, I. (2008) "Pleiotropy: One gene can affect multiple traits." Nature Education 1(1):10

4)  Lobo, I. (2008) "Pleiotropy: One gene can affect multiple traits." Nature Education 1(1):10

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