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Allele vs. Trait: What's the Difference?

Edited by Sara Rehman || By Sumera Saeed || Published on January 19, 2024
An allele is a variant form of a gene, while a trait is a characteristic or feature expressed by alleles in an organism.

Key Differences

An allele is a specific version of a gene that resides at a particular locus on a chromosome. Traits, however, are the physical or behavioral characteristics that are manifested from the expression of alleles.
Sumera Saeed
Jan 19, 2024
Alleles contribute to the genetic diversity within a population, providing different versions of a gene. Traits are the observable expressions, like eye color or height, resulting from the interaction of alleles.
Sumera Saeed
Jan 19, 2024
In an organism, each gene may have multiple alleles, each encoding a different version of a protein. Traits are influenced not just by alleles but also by environmental factors and the interaction of multiple genes.
Sumera Saeed
Jan 19, 2024
Alleles can be dominant or recessive, influencing the likelihood of a trait being expressed. Traits can be dominant (visible in the organism) or recessive (hidden unless both alleles are recessive).
Aimie Carlson
Jan 19, 2024
The combination of alleles an organism inherits determines its genotype, while the traits it displays are its phenotype.
Janet White
Jan 19, 2024
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Comparison Chart

Definition

A variant form of a gene.
A characteristic or feature of an organism.
Sumera Saeed
Jan 19, 2024

Role in Genetics

Contributes to genetic diversity within a population.
The physical or behavioral expression of genetic information.
Sumera Saeed
Jan 19, 2024

Interaction

Multiple alleles can exist for a single gene.
Traits are influenced by the interaction of multiple alleles.
Sumera Saeed
Jan 19, 2024

Dominance

Can be dominant or recessive.
Expressed as dominant or recessive traits in the phenotype.
Aimie Carlson
Jan 19, 2024

Expression

Determines part of the genetic makeup (genotype).
The observable manifestation in an organism (phenotype).
Aimie Carlson
Jan 19, 2024
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Allele and Trait Definitions

Allele

A form of a gene that influences a specific trait.
The allele for freckles is an example of a dominant trait.
Janet White
Dec 27, 2023

Trait

A characteristic or feature of an organism, often genetic in nature.
Blue eyes are a trait influenced by genetic inheritance.
Sumera Saeed
Dec 27, 2023

Allele

A variant form of a gene that can cause different genetic traits.
The allele for blue eyes differs from the allele for brown eyes.
Harlon Moss
Dec 27, 2023

Trait

A genetically determined characteristic.
Blood type is a trait determined by the alleles inherited from parents.
Janet White
Dec 27, 2023

Allele

One of two or more alternative forms of a gene.
Alleles determine varied traits like hair color in humans.
Janet White
Dec 27, 2023

Trait

A specific feature or quality distinguishing an organism.
Having dimples is a genetic trait.
Janet White
Dec 27, 2023

Allele

A genetic variant that governs a trait's expression.
Sickle cell anemia is caused by a specific allele of the hemoglobin gene.
Sumera Saeed
Dec 27, 2023

Trait

An observable quality or property in an organism.
The trait of tall stature in humans is influenced by genetics and environment.
Sumera Saeed
Dec 27, 2023

Allele

Different versions of a gene found at the same place on a chromosome.
In peas, the allele for green color is dominant over the allele for yellow.
Aimie Carlson
Dec 27, 2023

Trait

A distinguishing feature, as of a person's character.
Sumera Saeed
Dec 26, 2023

Allele

Any of the alternative forms of a gene or other homologous DNA sequence. Also called allelomorph.
Sumera Saeed
Dec 26, 2023

Trait

A morphological, physiological, or behavioral feature of an organism.
Sumera Saeed
Dec 26, 2023

Allele

(genetics) One of a number of alternative forms of the same gene occupying a given position, or locus, on a chromosome.
Sumera Saeed
Dec 26, 2023

Trait

(Archaic) A short line or mark made with a writing or drawing implement.
Sumera Saeed
Dec 26, 2023

Allele

One of two or more alternative forms of a gene that can have the same place on homologous chromosomes and are responsible for alternative traits.
Sumera Saeed
Dec 26, 2023

Trait

An identifying characteristic, habit or trend.
The number one personality trait I hate is hypocrisy. Why can't you be consistent!?
Sumera Saeed
Dec 26, 2023

Allele

Either of a pair of Mendelian characters that may occur in an organism as a consequence of variation at one gene locus.
Sumera Saeed
Dec 26, 2023

Trait

(object-oriented) An uninstantiable collection of methods that provides functionality to a class by using the class’s own interface.
Traits are somewhat between an interface and a mixin.
Sumera Saeed
Dec 26, 2023

Allele

One of two alternate forms of a gene that can have the same locus on homologous chromosomes and are responsible for alternative traits;
Some alleles are dominant over others
Sumera Saeed
Dec 26, 2023

Trait

A stroke; a touch.
By this single trait Homer makes an essential difference between the Iliad and Odyssey.
Sumera Saeed
Dec 26, 2023

Trait

A distinguishing or marked feature; a peculiarity; as, a trait of character.
Sumera Saeed
Dec 26, 2023

Trait

A distinguishing feature of your personal nature
Sumera Saeed
Dec 26, 2023

Trait

An attribute or feature exhibited by an organism.
Leaf shape in plants is a trait that can vary within a species.
Aimie Carlson
Dec 27, 2023

FAQs

Can a trait be influenced by multiple alleles?

Yes, some traits are influenced by multiple alleles, leading to a variety of expressions.
Janet White
Jan 19, 2024

What is a dominant allele?

A dominant allele is one whose trait always appears in the organism when present.
Sumera Saeed
Jan 19, 2024

What does a trait refer to in genetics?

A trait refers to any observable characteristic or feature of an organism.
Sumera Saeed
Jan 19, 2024

How do alleles affect traits?

Alleles determine the different expressions of a trait by encoding variations of a gene.
Sumera Saeed
Jan 19, 2024

How are traits inherited?

Traits are inherited through the transmission of alleles from parents to offspring.
Janet White
Jan 19, 2024

What is an allele?

An allele is a variant form of a gene found at a specific locus on a chromosome.
Sumera Saeed
Jan 19, 2024

Can environmental factors influence traits?

Yes, many traits are influenced by both genetic and environmental factors.
Sumera Saeed
Jan 19, 2024

Can an allele be changed?

Alleles can undergo mutations, leading to changes in their structure and function.
Sumera Saeed
Jan 19, 2024

What's a recessive trait?

A recessive trait is expressed only when two copies of the recessive allele are present.
Sumera Saeed
Jan 19, 2024

Can traits skip generations?

Yes, particularly recessive traits can skip generations and reappear later.
Sumera Saeed
Jan 19, 2024

Are alleles only found in humans?

No, alleles are found in all organisms with DNA, from bacteria to plants and animals.
Janet White
Jan 19, 2024

What is genotype?

Genotype refers to the genetic makeup of an organism, including its alleles.
Sumera Saeed
Jan 19, 2024

What is phenotype?

Phenotype is the set of observable traits of an organism, influenced by its genotype.
Janet White
Jan 19, 2024

Do all organisms have the same number of alleles?

The number of alleles varies widely among different organisms and different genes.
Sumera Saeed
Jan 19, 2024

How does a trait differ from a phenotype?

A trait is a specific characteristic, while phenotype encompasses all observable traits.
Sumera Saeed
Jan 19, 2024

Can a single gene influence multiple traits?

Yes, some genes, known as pleiotropic genes, can influence multiple traits.
Sumera Saeed
Jan 19, 2024

What are polygenic traits?

Polygenic traits are controlled by multiple genes, each contributing to the trait.
Aimie Carlson
Jan 19, 2024

How do alleles contribute to biodiversity?

Alleles contribute to genetic diversity, which underpins the variety of traits in a population.
Sumera Saeed
Jan 19, 2024

What is an example of a human trait?

Eye color is an example of a human trait influenced by genetics.
Janet White
Jan 19, 2024

How are alleles studied?

Alleles are studied through genetic analysis, including techniques like DNA sequencing.
Janet White
Jan 19, 2024
About Author
Written by
Sumera Saeed
Sumera is an experienced content writer and editor with a niche in comparative analysis. At Diffeence Wiki, she crafts clear and unbiased comparisons to guide readers in making informed decisions. With a dedication to thorough research and quality, Sumera's work stands out in the digital realm. Off the clock, she enjoys reading and exploring diverse cultures.
Edited by
Sara Rehman
Sara Rehman is a seasoned writer and editor with extensive experience at Difference Wiki. Holding a Master's degree in Information Technology, she combines her academic prowess with her passion for writing to deliver insightful and well-researched content.

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