What is the difference between a gene and an allele?

Understanding the difference between these two is extremely important. A gene is a heritable factor that controls a specific characteristic. However, of each gene there exist different versions and these are called alleles. Alleles will differ only in one or a few bases. Different people can thus have different alleles of the same gene and these will always be found at the same gene locus. Depending on which allele one has one will express a characteristic differently.

Laura H. IB Biology tutor, GCSE Biology tutor, IB German tutor, A Lev...

2 months ago

Answered by Laura, an IB Biology tutor with MyTutor

Still stuck? Get one-to-one help from a personally interviewed subject specialist


Eleanor H.
View profile
£20 /hr

Eleanor H.

Degree: Biochemistry (Bachelors) - Bristol University

Subjects offered: Biology, Chemistry


“ABOUT ME: I am a biochemistry student, currently studying at the University of Bristol, and have had a passion for the natural sciences from a very young age. I am patient, hardworking and experienced, having tutored students in Maths...”

Oliver W. GCSE Biology tutor, IB Biology tutor, A Level Biology tutor...
View profile
£22 /hr

Oliver W.

Degree: Natural Sciences (Bachelors) - Cambridge University

Subjects offered: Biology, Maths+ 4 more

Extended Project Qualification
-Personal Statements-

“I am third year student at the University of Cambridge studying Natural Sciences. I specialise in Neurobiology. However, I have a lot of experience in othersciences and maths, at GCSE and IB level. I studied for 5 years at Sevenoaks Sc...”

PremiumIsabella G. Mentoring -Personal Statements- tutor, GCSE Chemistry tut...
View profile
£26 /hr

Isabella G.

Degree: Cancer Biology & Immunology (Bachelors) - Bristol University

Subjects offered: Biology, Science+ 5 more

English and World Literature
-Personal Statements-

“Hi, my name's Isabella and I've recently finished my degree in Cancer Biology & Immunology at Bristol University. I've had experience in tutoring chemistry & biology in the past, and found it very enjoyable and rewarding. I try to ma...”

About the author

Laura H. IB Biology tutor, GCSE Biology tutor, IB German tutor, A Lev...
View profile

Laura H.

Currently unavailable: for regular students

Degree: Psychology (Bachelors) - Glasgow University

Subjects offered: Biology, German


“About Me I am a fourth year psychology student at the University of Glasgow and thus, psychology is my area of expertise and also my passion. However, during my first two years at university I took an extensive range of biology course...”

MyTutor guarantee

You may also like...

Posts by Laura

How can an impulse be passed along a membrane?

How do I evaluate a study?

How many studies should I cite in my psychology essay?

What is the difference between a gene and an allele?

Other IB Biology questions

Compare competitive and non-competitive inhibition

State two examples of current uses of genetically modified crops or animals.

Describe one example of transient polymorphism.

What are the differences between Carbohydrates and Lipids?

View IB Biology tutors


We use cookies to improve our service. By continuing to use this website, we'll assume that you're OK with this. Dismiss