Difference Between Gene and DNA

Gene and DNA are the two genetic terminologies mainly used to determine the characteristics of a living thing. In general, a gene is a short section of DNA and DNA- Deoxyribonucleic acid is a molecule which carries the genetic instructions or the hereditary materials.

Difference Between Gene and DNA


Genes are functional units of heredity as they are made of DNA. It is a subdivision of DNA and is mainly passed down from parents to their children. Genes are generally organized and packaged in components called chromosomes.

Overall, human beings have 23 pairs or 46 chromosomes. A set of chromosomes are passed on from a child’s mother, and another set of chromosomes comes from the child’s father. There are about thirty thousands of genes in every cell of the human body. They play a vital role in controlling the functions of both DNA and RNA.

DNA- Deoxyribonucleic acid

It is a biomolecule made out of two long, twisted strands, containing complementary genetic information. These strands of DNA holds the blueprint for all the living organisms.

DNA was discovered in the year 1869 by the Swiss biologist Johannes Friedrich Miescher. The complete structure of the DNA molecule resembles a ladder which is twisted at both the ends and is composed of nucleotides – sugar, phosphate groups, and nitrogen bases. DNA is the genetic material, which is involved in carrying the hereditary information, replication process, mutations, and also in the equal distribution of DNA during the cell division.

The difference between DNA and gene are summarized below

Difference between Gene and DNA


DNA- Deoxyribonucleic acid

Genes are the DNA stretches which are encoded for different proteins.

DNA is a chemical which stores the genetic information of an organism.

Regulates the traits of an organism.

Regulates the gene regulation.

A small stretches of DNA.

A long chain polynucleotide.

Genes are made up of either DNA or RNA.

DNA is made up of simpler monomer units called nucleotides.

A gene is located on a chromosome.

DNA is located within the nucleus of the cell.

Are coded with heredity information.

Encodes the genetic instructions.

In conclusion, the difference between DNA and gene is quite apparent. DNA is present on the genes, which make up the functional unit of heredity.

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