Genes are functional units of heredity as they are made of DNA. The chromosome is made of DNA containing many genes. Every gene comprises of the particular set of instructions for a particular function or protein coding. Speaking in usual terms, genes are responsible for heredity.


There are about 30000 genes in each cell of the human body. DNA present in the gene comprises of only 2 percent of the genome. Many researches are made on the same that found the location of nearly 13000 genes on each of the chromosomes.

William Bateson introduced the term genetics in the year 1905. Later, Wilhelm Johannes was the first one who coined the term GENE in 1909. He was a Danish botanist. He named it as Gene to symbolise hereditary.

Characteristics determined by Genes

The human cell contains 23 pairs of chromosomes. The trait is one of the characteristics determined by one or more genes. Abnormal genes and genes that are formed due to new mutations also result in certain traits. Genes vary in size depending on the code or the protein they produce. All cells in the human body contain the same DNA. The difference between the cells occurs due to the different type of genes that are turned on and therefore produce a variety of proteins.

Reasons for hereditary

Genes come in pairs in the same way like the chromosomes. Each parent of a human being carries two copies of their genes and each parent passes one copy of genes to their child. This is the reason why the child has many characteristics of both the parents like hair colour, same eyes etc.

Functions of Genes

  1. Genes control the functions of DNA and RNA.
  2. Proteins are the most important materials in the human body which not only help by being the building blocks for muscles, connecting tissue and skin but also takes care of the enzymes production.
  3. These enzymes play an important role in conducting various chemical processes and reactions within the body. Therefore, protein synthesis is responsible for all activities carried on by the body and are mainly controlled by the genes.
  4. Genes consist of a particular set of instructions or specific functions. For example, globin gene was instructed to produce haemoglobin. Haemoglobin is a protein that helps to carry oxygen in the blood.

To know more about the Genes and its importance, visit BYJU’S.

Practise This Question

Which of the following is an advantage of transgenic organisms?