What Are Alleles?


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Regina Bailey

** What Are Alleles? **

By Regina Bailey, About.com GuideMay 15, 2010

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Credit: Steve Berg

An allele is an alternative form of a gene (one member of a pair) that is
located at a specific position on a specific chromosome. These DNA codings
determine distinct traits that can be passed on from parents to offspring.
The process by which alleles are transmitted was discovered by Gregor
Mendel and formulated in what is known as Mendel's law of segregation.

Mendel studied various characteristics of pea plants, one of which was seed
color. The gene for seed color in pea plants exists in two forms. There is
one form or allele for yellow seed color (Y) and another for green seed
color (y). One allele is dominant and the other is recessive. In this
example, the allele for yellow seed color is dominant and the allele for
green seed color is recessive. Since organisms have two alleles for each
trait, when the alleles of a pair are heterozygous, the dominant allele
trait is expressed and the recessive allele trait is masked. Seeds with the
genetic makeup of (YY) or (Yy) are yellow, while seeds that are (yy) are

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Leave a Comment


November 29, 2011 at 10:27 pm
(1) LoL says:
LOL man,

your definition is too hard!

September 2, 2012 at 1:52 pm
(2) Tehhee says:

Source: biology.about.com/b/2010/05/15/what-are-alleles.htm

what are alleles

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