, Volume 2, Issue 5, pp 44–53 | Cite as

What is a gene?

2. A question with variable answers
  • S. C. Lakhotia
General Article


The first part of this article traced the evolution of the concept of a gene from Mendel’s times to the middle of this century: starting from the imaginaryfactors of Mendel, thegenes were shown, in the first few decades of this century, to be physical entities many of which were linked in a linear order on a single chromosome. Each of these were believed to be indivisible units of function, mutation and recombination. Subsequent studies in microorganisms as well as higher organisms revealed the gene to be divisible in all its properties. Theclassical concept of indivisible gene thus gave way to something with a more complex organization. The advent of molecular biology allowed more detailed studies on the organization of the gene and the way it functions. In keeping with the remarkable diversity and complexity of biological systems, thegene has also turned out to be equally diverse and fascinating.


Transcription Unit Haploid Genome Immunoglobulin Gene Conceptual Entity Indivisible Unit 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Suggested Reading

  1. Peter Portin. The concept of the gene: short history and present status.Quarterly Review of Biology, Vol. 68.pp. 173–223, 1993.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Benjamin Lewin. Genes V. Oxford Univ. Press. Oxford. New York. Tokyo, 1994.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Indian Academy of Sciences 1997

Authors and Affiliations

  • S. C. Lakhotia
    • 1
  1. 1.Cytogenetics Laboratory Department of ZoologyBanaras Hindu UniversityVaranasiIndia

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