Difference Between Gene and Allele (With Table)

The individuality in humans is a result of genetic variation. This variation stems right from the sequencing of genetic codes in the animal. The two main components that cause this difference are the genes and the allele. Variations in each gene or allele can produce a completely different genetic code which produces uniqueness in people.

Gene vs Allele

The main difference between Gene and Allele is that an allele is a variant form of a gene. In every human being, genes are present in pairs. This pair of genes are inherited from parents, one from the mother and one from the father. An allele is a variant that is a different type of gene, compared to the other gene pairs.

Genes are the individual components of the DNA. These genes are sequenced together to form a long string, known as DNA. Genes are paired together and the pair results from two individual genes inherited from the parents. These individual genes are also known as alleles since there can be variations in the same type of gene.

An allele is a variant form of a gene that can be inherited from either of the parents. Since genes are copied from the parents, there can be variations in the same type of gene as well. These variant types of the same gene are known as Alleles. Alleles produce variations in the gene sequence.

Comparison Table Between Gene and Allele

Parameters of ComparisonGeneAllele
DefinitionThe main component of a DNA strand and contains the necessary genetic information. A variation of a gene type.
PurposeResponsible for genetic traits of an individualAlleles produce the differences in phenotype expressions and diversity of an individual
DomainGenes are related to the Genotype of the organismAlleles are related to the Phenotype of the organism
TypesIndividual genes are known as Alleles. Two genes combine to form a gene pair.There are two types of alleles, Paternal-Maternal alleles, and Dominant-Recessive alleles
ExampleSimilarities between parent and child, such as same eye color, hair color, pigmentation of the skinDifferences between parents and child, such as blue or green eye color, different shade of hair color

What is Gene?

Genes are the main components of a DNA strand. They are inherited from the parent organism and are responsible for the genetic traits of the organism.

They are basically nucleotides that are responsible for the synthesis of different types of proteins in the organism. Genes are sequenced to form a DNA or RNA chain which, are essentially the building blocks of an organism.

 Individual genes pair up and these gene pairs are linked to form a DNA or RNA chain. There are two types of Genes in a pair, each inherited from the parent organism. Thus one gene is copied from the mother and one from the father.

These genes are responsible for the Genotype-related properties of an organism. These include the similarities in eye color, hair color, skin pigmentation, and other factors between the parents and the offspring. These properties are a result of the type of protein that those genes have produced.

 Thus depending on the type of genes and the sequencing, genetic traits of the organism can vary. These variations are also known as mutations, and these mutations are formed during the copying of genes.

The sequence of Genes that form proteins is known as RNA. The RNA sequence depends upon the dominance of one gene type over the other. Thus the trait linked to the dominant gene will be encoded onto the RNA.

What is Allele?

The allele is a variation in the Gene type. When genes are inherited from the parent organism, they are copied from the parents onto the offspring. During this copying process, certain variations occur in the gene copy. These variations are known as mutations of the gene.

These mutations result in a new form of the gene copy, which is different from the rest of the copies. This different type of gene is known as an allele. Thus an Allele is a variant form of a gene.

These gene variations result in differences in the traits of the offspring. Differences such as different eye color from the parent organism, different skin pigmentation, or shade of hair color are the results of gene mutation or formation of Alleles.

Thus individual genes are also known as Alleles. As genes are inherited from the parents, each gene of the gene pair is different from the other. Thus each gene is an allele.

Alleles result in the phenotypes of the organism. These are variations in the offspring that are observable. There are two types of alleles, Maternal-Paternal alleles, and Dominant-Recessive alleles.

Dominant alleles are responsible for the different traits in the organism, as these traits are dominant over the other traits. Thus depending on the type of Allele, the traits of the offspring will vary from the parent organism.

Main Differences Between Gene and Allele

  1. Gene is the main component of a DNA strand and it contains the necessary genetic information about the organism. Allele is a variant form of a gene.
  2. The purpose of a gene is to define the genetic traits of an organism. Alleles produce the observable differences and expressions, also known as phenotype expressions, in the offspring.
  3. Genes are responsible for the genotype of the organism. Alleles are responsible for the phenotype of the organism.
  4. Individual Genes are known as Alleles. There are two types of alleles, Paternal-Maternal alleles, Dominant-Recessive alleles.
  5. Genes produce the similarities between parents and offspring, such as same eye color, skin pigmentation etc. Alleles produce the differences between parents and offspring, such as different colors of eyes, hair, skin etc.

Conclusion

Genetic variations give rise to the individuality of people. The differences in skin pigmentation, the color of eyes, hair color are all due to the genetic variations between the parents and the offspring.

These variations are produced when mutations happen in the individual genes. These mutations result in variant forms of genes, which are known as alleles.

Thus alleles are responsible for the observable variations between parents and offspring. Genes are linked to form the RNA strands, which are responsible for the protein synthesis in the organism.

These variations produce the individuality of organisms. The uniqueness in people is a result of millions of genetic variations in the organism, which can be traced right down to a single gene.

References

  1. https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s00251-012-0617-1
  2. https://www.annualreviews.org/doi/pdf/10.1146/annurev.bi.56.070187.004023
  3. https://academic.oup.com/hmg/article-abstract/10/6/591/628411
  4. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/0040580972900354

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