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, one from each parent. Usually, these genes are the same for all individuals, but less than 1% of the total differ between individuals and these are responsible for the variations and uniqueness of each individual. These changes or alternation in the genes are called an allele.

Gene vs Allele

A gene essentially is part of the DNA structure and it decides the genetic traits of all individuals. And 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
Genes do not occur in pairs Alleles occur in pairs
Genes are passed down from parents Alleles decide how features are determined in a person
No generalization can be made for genes A pair of alleles produce opposing phenotypes (a description of the actual physical characteristics)
All humans share the exact same genes The expression of these genes is decided by alleles

Functions of Genes and Alleles

Genes are responsible for the traits of an organism. They act as instructions for protein synthesis. There are two copies of genes inherited 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 are identical to each other. Now, each individual has obvious and these changes are the result of alleles.

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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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