Table 1 Glossary of Terms
TermDefinition
CanalizationThe developmental program of organisms is robust so that small environmental changes will be buffered to produce a single definite phenotype.
Cryptic variationHeritable variation that is buffered during development in an unstressed state, producing a wild-type phenotype. In a stressed state, the phenotypic variant can be revealed.
Genetic assimilationOrganisms exposed to stress for several generations develop a phenotypic modification that persists even in the absence of the stress that first elicited the phenotype.
PhenocopyChanges in developmental program by the environment producing a phenotype that is typically not heritable.
PseudoassimilationOrganisms exposed to stress produce de novo somatic changes that, over several generations, lead to de novo genetic mutations in the germline.