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Allele

An allele (pronounced /ˈæliːl/ (UK), /əˈliːl/ (US)) (from the Greek αλληλος allelos, meaning each other) is one member of a pair or series of different forms of a gene. Usually alleles are coding sequences, but sometimes the term is used to refer to a non-coding sequence. An individual's genotype for that gene is the set of alleles it happens to possess. In diploid organisms (two copies of each chromosome) including humans, two alleles make up the individual's genotype. Alleles are represented in a Punnett square.

An example is the gene for blossom color in many species of flower—a single gene controls the color of the petals, but there may be several different versions (or alleles) of the gene. One version might result in red petals, while another might result in white petals. The resulting color of an individual flower will depend on which two alleles it possesses for the gene and how the two interact.

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