Is there any difference between allele and allelomorph since most websites call them the same. If they are same then why two different term?

  • $\begingroup$ Welcome to Biology.SE! Thank you for taking the tour, but please also go through the help center pages starting with How to Ask questions effectively on this site. In particular asking why synonyms exist is about language not biology. Also note that for "homework" questions, you are required to use the "homework" tag. (Note that "homework" can apply to questions even if they are not assigned as homework — in this case you question "addresses a basic biology concept that may seem trivial to biology professionals".) Thanks! 😊 $\endgroup$ – tyersome Nov 5 '20 at 1:03
  • $\begingroup$ Ok , thanks would consider your points $\endgroup$ – Nandini Yadav Nov 5 '20 at 2:13

Allele, allelomorphs - the common word in both is "Allele" - When Multiple genes code for a contrasting or similar traits/ or multiple genes in the same locus on homologous chromosomes can be qualified as an allele.

Now let's look at second word "Morph" - Adjective MORPHOLOGICAL meaning that - relating to the form or structure of things. Now I'm going to mix this word MORPH with another word POLY which gives "Polymorphic" (Meaning Many Shapes/Forms) - Polymorphism is the ability of an object to take on many forms. This is the same behavior that we could see in an allele. Let me put this polymorphism more specific to our topic.

Gene-Polymorphism -

  • A gene is said to be polymorphic if more than one allele of a gene exists within a population.

  • In addition to having more than one allele at a specific locus, each allele must also occur in the population at a rate of at least 1% to generally be considered polymorphic. - Wiki definition

Now comparing the definition of allele with this second point of Gene Polymorphism, we get Allelomorphs - Meaning that a single Allele taking different forms/ multiple occurrences within a given population.

Here is an example for easier understanding,

Eye Color is a Trait,

Let us say that eye color is controlled by a single gene, for simplicity (this is generally not true in nature).

  • Blue Eye gene variant is an Allele,
  • Red Eye gene variant is an Allele,
  • Yellow Eye gene variant is an Allele,

Your eye color is then controlled by which of these alleles you have for the eye color gene.

Here eye color allele takes different forms. Thus making it polymorphic, Putting all these forms together we get Allelomorph(s) (plural), each individual one is as an allele/allelomorph (singular)

  • $\begingroup$ I edited to remove some unclear statements and make it easier to understand. (I think that this is a case where diagrams would really help.) $\endgroup$ – Maximilian Press Nov 7 '20 at 22:38

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