Lewis, Edward B. Department of Biology, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, California. Nobelist.
Last reviewed:March 2021
- Alleles and the genetic code
- Types, notation, and numbers of alleles
- Related Primary Literature
- Additional Reading
Any of a number of alternative forms of a gene. An allele is a variant form of a gene (see illustration). Allele is a contraction of allelomorph, which is a term that William Bateson used to designate one of the alternative forms of a unit showing mendelian segregation. New alleles arise from existing ones by mutation. The diversity of alleles produced in this way is the basis for hereditary variation and evolution. See also: Gene; Genetics; Mendelism; Mutation
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