What is the Difference Between Similar But Different Things, Terms, and Objects

What is the Difference between Haplotype, Serotype, Genotype and Phenotype

The face structure, body structure, skin color and even behavior of human being depend upon the genes of ancestors. This is the genetic study that unveils the hidden aspects of heredity and all its belongings. Haplotype, Serotype, Genotype and Phenotype are the names of some branches of genetic study.  Normally, people remain confuse about these terms due to their similar sounds. Here is the solution of their confusion.


Genetics is a complicated branch of science. When a combination of DNA sequences or in other words Alleles, which are present at different locations or loci on chromosomes, are transmitted together, they are called as Haplotype. A haplotype may be one chromosome, several loci or just one locus. It depends on the number of recombination events, which have to be transferred.


Serotype is associated with microbes like bacteria and viruses. It refers to the variation within the subspecies of these little creatures. This classification is based on cell surface antigens. Serotyping process is driven by many factors, which might include presence of exotoxin, virulence, pages, plasmids, genetic profiles etc. This process is very important when it comes to classification of species and subspecies.


Every organism, unicellular or multi cellular, have a genetic makeup, which is called Genotype. This is particularly important, when it comes to a specific character. For example, CFTR gene in human, which is responsible for encoding a protein, that carries chloride ions across cell membrane. Normally, this gene is dominant but in some cases, it can be recessive as well.


The expression of genes, which we can observe in an organism, is called as Phenotype. These are the basic characters like morphology, development, behavior, physiology etc. Phenotypes are result of genetic combinations, but environmental factors also play a very important role. Organisms having same genotype, may have different phenotypes, if they are living in different environmental conditions.

Haplotype vs Serotype vs Genotype vs Phenotype

A genotype is the genes or more correctly alleles, but a phenotype is what the organism looks like means how the genes are expressed in that particular organisum, under environmental conditions. Similarly, the genotype of an individual is the combination of variants at a particular locus that are present in that individual. While, a haplotype is the ordered array of allelotypes in a contiguous piece of DNA. On the contrary, a group of closely related microorganisms distinguished by a characteristic set of antigens is called Serotype.

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