Difference Between Gene and Allele

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. Every human being has two copies of each gene, i.e one from each parent. Usually, these genes are the same for all individuals, but less than 1% of the total difference 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. Alleles determine a single characteristic and different variations of the same gene. 

The difference between gene and allele are as mentioned below - 

Difference Between Gene and Allele 

Gene 

Allele

Genes are not found in pairs

Allele can be found in pairs

No inductive reasoning can be made for genes

A pair of alleles produce opposing phenotypes

Genes are passed down from the parents to the children

Alleles determines the features in in a person

Humans share the same genes

The expression of these genes is decided by the alleles

Functions of Genes and Alleles

Genes play a vital role as they are responsible for building traits in 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.

It can be concluded that everyone takes over a pair of genes from their parents, and these genes are identical to each other. Now, each individual is obvious and these changes are the result of alleles.  

Chromosomes

Chromosomes are structures which are coiled and made up of DNA and proteins. Chromosomes have their coded genetic instructions with which they make proteins. These instructions are organized into units called genes. Most genes ought to follow the instructions for a single protein. There can be an infinite number of genes on a single chromosome.

Human Genes 

Humans have an estimated 20,000 to 22,000 genes. This may sound like a lot, but it really isn’t. Many other simpler species have almost as many genes as the humans have. However, splicing and other processes are used by humans to make multiple proteins from the instructions encoded in a single gene. Only about 25 percent of the nitrogen base pairs of DNA in human chromosomes make up genes and their regulatory elements. Out of this 25 percent, only two percent code for genes. The functions of many of the other base pairs are still unclear.

The majority of human genes have two or more possible versions, called alleles. Differences in alleles have a  considerable genetic variation among people. In fact, most human genetic variation is the result of differences in individual DNA base pairs within alleles.

FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

Q1. What are Genes?

Ans - 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. Every human being has two copies of each gene, i.e one from each parent. Usually, these genes are the same for all individuals, but less than 1% of the total difference between individuals and these are responsible for the variations and uniqueness of each individual. 

Q2. What is the Function of Genes and Alleles? 

Ans - Genes play a vital role as they are responsible for building traits in 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.

It can be concluded that everyone takes over a pair of genes from their parents, and these genes are identical to each other. Now, each individual is obvious and these changes are the result of alleles.

Q3. Define Alleles

Ans - 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.

Q4. What are Chromosomes

Ans - Chromosomes are structures which are coiled and made up of DNA and proteins. Chromosomes have their coded genetic instructions with which they make proteins. These instructions are organized into units called genes. Most genes ought to follow the instructions for a single protein. There can be an infinite number of genes on a single chromosome.

Q5. What are Human Genes?

Ans - Humans have an estimated 20,000 to 22,000 genes. This may sound like a lot, but it really isn’t. Many other simpler species have almost as many genes as the humans have. However, splicing and other processes are used by humans to make multiple proteins from the instructions encoded in a single gene.