Difference Between Genome and Gene Pool l Genome vs Gene Pool


The key difference between genome and gene pool is that the genome refers to the entire DNA of an organism while the gene pool refers to the complete set of unique genes of an interbreeding population.

Gene is the basic structural unit of the heredity. Genes pass from parent to offspring via gametes. Also, they are present in the genome of an organism. Genome is the complete set of DNA of an organism. Gene pool is also a similar term. But, it represents the collection of all genes present in a population or a species. In contrast to genome, gene pool is a mixture of genes of a population. Accordingly, gene pool represents the all possible alleles present in that particular population.

CONTENTS

1. Overview and Key Difference
2. What is Genome
3. What is Gene Pool
4. Similarities Between Genome and Gene Pool
5. Side by Side Comparison – Genome vs Gene Pool in Tabular Form
6. Summary

What is Genome?

Genome is the entire collection of DNA present in an organism. In simple words, genome is the complete heredity material of an organism. Genome contains all the information that an organism requires to function. In eukaryotes, genome resides inside the nucleus while in prokaryotes, genome floats in the cytoplasm. Furthermore, the genome consists mainly of coding and non-coding DNA. Also, genes are present in the genome, and it occupies a small percentage from the total genome. Even within the genes, introns which are non-coding sequences can be seen. Intergenic regions, promoter sequences, enhancers and regulatory sequences are the other types of sequences present in the genome of an organism.

Difference Between Genome and Gene Pool l Genome vs Gene Pool

Figure 01: Genome of a Bacterium

In humans, genome represents the 46 chromosomes. It is totally a DNA genome. It contains more than 3 billion base pairs of DNA. Most of the living organisms have DNA genomes. But there are RNA genomes as well. Some viruses have RNA genomes.

What is Gene Pool?

Gene pool is a collection of genes of a population or a species. Thus, it is a mixture of genes of a group of organisms. It does not represent a single organism. In fact, gene pool represents a group of organisms and total alleles of that particular population. Here, the alleles are alternative forms of a gene. Furthermore, the gene pool accounts all possible forms of the genes within the population. Therefore, we can define the term gene pool as an abstract collection of a total of all existing variants of every gene of the population.

Moreover, every allele has a frequency within the gene pool. Hence, allele frequency can be used as a measure of evolution as well. Besides, in the evolutionary line, it is necessary to increase the favourable allele frequencies in the gene pool while eliminating the unfavourable alleles from it.

Difference Between Genome and Gene Pool l Genome vs Gene Pool

Figure 02: Gene Pool

Moreover, gene flow and genetic drift are two possible things that can take place in a gene pool. Here, gene flow refers to the transfer of a gene from one gene pool of a population to another gene pool of a different population of the same species. While, genetic drift refers to a change in gene pool of a population by chance. However, from both mechanisms, genes can move in and out from the gene pool.

In plant breeding and plant improvement, gene pool is an important concept since it guides breeders to select germplasm for the hybridization.

What are the Similarities Between Genome and Gene Pool?

  • Both genome and gene pool include genes of the organisms.
  • Also, both are subject to evolution with time.
  • Besides, both are important in studying mutations and speciation.

What is the Difference Between Genome and Gene Pool?

Genes are important since they contain the genetic information to produce proteins. Genomes of organisms contain these genes. Thus, Genome is the complete set of the DNA of an organism that comprises the genetic information of the organism. In contrast, the gene pool is the whole collection of alleles in a population. Therefore, gene pool comprises the genetic information of a population. Hence, this is the prime difference between genome and gene pool. Also, this gives rise to another difference between genome and gene pool. That is, the whole genome sequencing tells us how organisms relate to each other by genetics while the gene pool helps to research the evolution of a population. In overall, a genome represents an individual organism while a gene pool represents a population.

Difference Between Genome and Gene Pool l Genome vs Gene Pool

Summary – Genome vs Gene Pool

Genome and gene pool are two terms that represent genes of the organisms. Genome represents the whole set of DNA of an organism while gene pool represents all possible alleles of every gene in a population. Thus, this is the key difference between the genome and gene pool. Furthermore, population includes all the individuals of concern; hence, an allele has a frequency in the gene pool. Also, mutations can occur in genes; especially, in alleles, and some favourable alleles remain in the gene pool while some unfavourable and mutated alleles eliminate from the gene pool. Hence, allele frequency is a good measure of the evolution of a population. Similar to that, genome also involves with organisms evolution. Concerning their importance, genomes help to understand how organisms are relating with each other genetically while gene pools are important in plant breeding for plant improvement.

Reference:

1.Study.com, Study.com. Available here 
2.“What Is a Genome? – Genetics Home Reference – NIH.” U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health. Available here  

Image Courtesy:

1.”Halo genome”By Konstantinos Mavromatis, Natalia Ivanova, Iain Anderson, Athanasios Lykidis, Sean D. Hooper, Hui Sun, Victor Kunin, et al. (2009) Genome Analysis of the Anaerobic Thermohalophilic Bacterium Halothermothrix orenii. PLoS ONE 4(1): e4192. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0004192, (CC BY 2.5) via Commons Wikimedia 
2.”Ancestral components of the Balto-Slavic gene pool”By Alena Kushniarevich , Olga Utevska , Marina Chuhryaeva, Anastasia Agdzhoyan, Khadizhat Dibirova, Ingrida Uktveryte, Märt Möls, et al .  (2015) Genetic Heritage of the Balto-Slavic Speaking Populations: A Synthesis of Autosomal, Mitochondrial and Y-Chromosomal Data. PLoS ONE 10(9): e0135820. doi:10.1371/ (CC BY 2.5) via Commons Wikimedia

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