number of alleles of a gene

Dr N.I.Leaves nleaves at hgmp.mrc.ac.uk
Mon Dec 17 05:48:20 EST 2001

We each carry two alleles of a gene that correspond to our maternally and
paternally derived chromsomes for any locus. However genomic variation
within a population means that there are variants of genes which are
slightly different from one another. The degree of biologically acceptable
variation varies from gene to gene and will be related to the gene
function and the precise nature of the variation.

We know that on a genomic scale allelic recombination does NOT occur
randomly and that there are areas of extremely low and high
recombination. However, I think it is probably true to say that the bigger
the gene the more likely recombination would be to occur within it and the
more allelic variants of a gene you might expect. Of course, you could
also predict that variation and recombination would be lower within genes
than in flanking loci since by their nature genes should remain conserved 
to preserve their functionality.

Hope that helps


On 17 Dec 2001, Egeria Jie-ru Lin wrote:

> Dose anyone know
> in eukaryotes, would you expect the number of alleles of a gene to be
> directly related to the number of nucleotide pairs in the gene? why?
> Thank you very much!
> Lin

Dr N I Leaves
Mouse Sequencing
MRC HGMP Resource Centre 
Cambridge CB10 1SB 
tel: 01223 494557 (office) or 01223 494541 (lab)
email: nleaves at hgmp.mrc.ac.uk

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