Difference between Gene and Chromosome

Both genes and chromosome play an equally important role in holding the information. The chromosome has many genes and these genes hold the information to build the specific protein.


A gene is a section of DNA which is involved in carrying information for a particular trait. They are functional units of heredity and are made of DNA.Genes are responsible for the hereditary and this is the reason why we all have similar characteristics of both the parents like the pigmentation of the eye, hair color, etc. There are about 29 to 30 thousands of genes in every cell of the human body. The term gene was first coined in the year 1909 by a Danish botanist Wilhelm Johannsen.


Chromosomes are thread-like structures merged together and are made of proteins and a single molecule of deoxyribonucleic acid – DNA. They are mainly found inside the nucleus of both animal and plant cells. They are passed to offspring from their parents, over generations. The term chromosome is derived from the Ancient Greek word meaning coloured body. Every human cell contains 46 or 23 pairs ofchromosomes. These chromosomes play an important role in cell division process and ensure that DNA molecules are copied and distributed evenly.

Let us learn more in detail about the difference between genes and chromosomes.



Gene is located on the chromosome.

Chromosomes are the packed structure of a DNA with proteins.

Genes are not visible under the microscope.

Chromosomes are visible under the microscope.

A single gene is a locus on a chromosome.

A single chromosome comprises of many genes.

Genes are composed of either DNA or RNA.

Chromosomes are composed of DNA, histones, and RNA.

Gene mutations are small.

Chromosomal mutations are relatively large.

Gene mutations lead to point mutations and frameshift mutations: insertions and deletions

Chromosomal mutations lead to chromosomal abnormalities such as deletion, duplication, rearrangement and inversion of genes.

Stay tuned with BYJU’S for more detailed information about the genes and chromosomes.

Practise This Question

A statement of assertion is followed by a statement of reason.

Assertion: In a regular medical examination of a small population, a 35 years old lady was found to have higher levels of oestrogens, progesterone in her blood.
Reason: The lady is 12 weeks pregnant.

Mark the correct choice as: