Difference Between Gene and Allele

The difference between Gene and Allele is quite easy to comprehend once you understand the basics. Let’s take a closer look at them:

Genes are the most basic and functional unit of heredity. In other words, it means that genes make up our DNA structure and are responsible for all the genetic traits that we have. And in humans, everyone has two copies of each gene, known as an allele, one from each parent. These alleles of a gene are responsible for the variations and uniqueness of each individual. These different variations of a particular gene are known as an allele.

Gene vs Allele

A gene essentially is a part of the DNA structure and it decides the genetic traits of all individuals. Alleles are the different variations of the same gene and they determine a single characteristic. The difference between gene and allele can be better understood with the help of this table:

Difference Between Gene and Allele
Gene Allele
A gene is a short sequence of DNA encoding for a certain trait Alleles are different variants of a gene
Genes determine traits in an individual Alleles are responsible for diverse features of a given trait
A gene can have many different alleles An individual contains a pair of alleles for a particular gene, which may be homozygotes, heterozygotes, dominant or recessive
Examples: skin, hair or eye colour Examples: Black, brown, blue or green eyes colour

Functions of Genes and Alleles

Genes are responsible for the traits of an organism. They act as instructions for protein synthesis. There is one pair of each gene present on homologous chromosomes, one from each parent. These are known as alleles that play an important role in shaping the features of the individuals.

In conclusion, everyone inherits a pair of genes from their parents, and these genes may be present in different allelic forms. Variation in traits, like eye colour or hair colour, is the result of different alleles of a specific gene.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Where are alleles located?

Alleles are the variants of a gene that are located on the same place on a chromosome. Locus is the location on the chromosome where a gene is found.

What is the basic structure of a gene?

Genes are made up of DNA in most of the organisms. All the necessary information for the survival and reproduction of living things is present in genes. Each gene comprises a promoter, a coding region and a terminator.

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