To me, those sound like different ways of saying the same thing.
The first is asking the mechanism.
The second is refering to a way to find the mechanism.
I can't comment based only on the few examples I am aware of.
<<It's curious to me just how the parents worked to give it that
color. Both are clearly yellow, though not the same yellow. Some
sort of inhibitor that the seedling didn't inherit maybe? >>
1) the seedling is a result of
several generations, not just the parents. Check the parent's parents, etc.