Difference between Gene and Chromosome

difference between gene and chromosome mutationThe role of genes and chromosomes in storing information is equally important. The chromosome contains many genes and these genes carry the information to make different proteins.

Let’s go into more detail about the difference between a gene and a chromosome.

Difference between Gene and Chromosome



Gene is located on the chromosome. Chromosomes are the packed structure of a DNA with proteins.
Genes are not visible under the microscope. Chromosomes are visible under the microscope.
A single gene is a locus on a chromosome. A single chromosome comprises of many genes.
Genes are composed of either DNA or RNA. Chromosomes are composed of DNA, histones, and RNA.
Gene mutations are small. Chromosomal mutations are relatively large.
Gene mutations lead to point mutations and frameshift mutations: insertions and deletions Chromosomal mutations lead to chromosomal abnormalities such as deletion, duplication, rearrangement and inversion of genes.

What is GENE?

A gene is a piece of DNA that usually carries information in a particular way. These are the functional units of heredity and are made of DNA.

Genes are responsible for inheritance and therefore we all have the same characteristics from both parents such as eye pigment, hair color etc.

There are about 29 to 30 thousand genes in each cell of the human body. The term gene was first coined in 1909 by Danish botanist Wilhelm Johansen.


Chromosomes are thread-like structures joined together and made up of proteins and a single molecule of deoxyribonucleic acid – DNA. They are found mainly within the nucleus of animal and plant cells.

They are passed down from parents to children, from generation to generation. The word chromosome comes from the ancient Greek word for colored body.

Each human cell contains either 46 or 23 chromosomes. These chromosomes play an important role in cell division and ensure that DNA molecules are replicated and distributed evenly.

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