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Gene and Allele

Gene and allele are responsible for making us who we are. They are genetic sequences of DNA and are found on chromosomes. Genes are responsible for different traits of an individual. They contain information about a specific trait and can either be dominant or recessive. Every gene has a specific location on a specific chromosome in every person. This specific location is called a locus.

What is a Gene?

Gene is a segment of DNA and codes for a functional protein, rRNA, tRNA or ribozymes. All life forms are dependent on genes for survival and well-being. Every person has two copies each gene from which one is inherited from the mother and one from the father. Most of the genes are the same in every person but only about 1 percent may be slightly different in among individuals, which contribute to the unique characteristics of a person.

What is an Allele?

Alleles are the variants of a gene. All chromosomes have the same genes but they might have different versions of a gene. Those different versions of a gene are called alleles. Alleles occur in pairs and are responsible for the expression of different phenotypes. If the paired alleles are of the same kind, they are homozygous, but if they are different they are called heterozygous. If they are heterozygous, then one allele would be dominant and the other would be recessive.

Difference between Gene and Allele

A gene is a part of DNA which controls certain traits but allele is a variant of a gene. Alleles are responsible for different phenotypic expression of the same trait, for example, eye color. There is only one gene responsible for eye color of a person but it has variants called alleles which show different colors. Here also comes the phenomenon of dominance and recessiveness. Allele for Brown eye color is dominant over Blue or Grey. So you are most likely to have brown eyes if one of your parents have brown eyes. Alleles determine how genes are expressed in an individual.


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