Difference between Gene and Genome

All the genetic information in a cell is found in the form of DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid) or RNA (ribonucleic acid). A gene is the segment of DNA which gives instructions for the formation of gene products, and the whole genetic information of a cell comprises the genome. The DNA is packaged in chromosomes. Let us find the major differences between a gene and a genome.

Gene

Genome

Definition

Gene is a segment of DNA that gives instruction for the synthesis of gene products such as RNA or protein.

The whole nuclear DNA of a cell in an organism comprises its genome.

It is the basic unit of heredity.

It includes all the coding and non-coding DNA, along with mitochondrial and chloroplast DNA.

Length

A gene is a few hundred base pairs long.

A genome of an organism has millions of base pairs.

Study

The study of genes is known as genetics.

The study of genomes is known as genomics.

Evolution

Variations of genes are called alleles. Every gene has two alleles which contribute to evolution.

Horizontal gene transfer and gene duplication brings out variation in a genome.

This sums up the relation between a gene and a genome.

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Frequently Asked Questions

How do genes differ from the genome?

Genes are a segment of DNA while genomes are the entire genetic material of an organism.

Is gene short for genome?

No, the genome comprises both genes and non coding DNA sequences.

Is DNA a gene?

DNA is not a gene, but genes are made up of DNA. They are short segments of DNA.

What is another word for genome?

Genetic material, genetic makeup are some other words used to describe a genome.

How many genomes do humans have?

Humans have one genome, which is more than 3 billion base pairs long, packed in 23 pairs of chromosomes.

What is the difference between a gene and a chromosome?

A gene is a segment of DNA that codes for gene products, whereas chromosomes are structures inside cells in which the genes are packed.

Does the genome include RNA?

Yes, the genome includes both the DNA and RNA.

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