Why Are Four-Leaf Clovers So Rare?

Why Are Four-Leaf Clovers So Rare?

BY : Rhiannon Nevinczenko

Why are four-leaf clovers so rare?
It comes down to genetics. Genetic material is coiled up in chromosomes. A gene is a segment of genetic information that codes for a protein. There can be more than one version of a gene - these are called alleles. Some alleles are dominant over others. In humans, for instance, we have two chromosomes per cell. Both of them could be dominant alleles, or one could be dominant and one recessive, or both could be recessive. Recessive traits are only expressed if there is no dominant allele. For clovers, this is more complicated, as they have four chromosomes per cell. It is much less likely that a recessive trait will be expressed in clovers. The allele for having four leaves is recessive. That is why four-leaf clovers are so rare!
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