Chromosome

What are Chromosome? Chromosomes is vary widely between different organisms. The DNA molecule may be circular or linear, and can be composed of 100,000 to 10,000,000,000 nucleotides in a long chain.

In eukaryotes, nuclear chromosomes are packaged by proteins into a condensed structure called chromatin. This allows the very long DNA molecules to fit into the cell nucleus. The structure of chromosomes and chromatin varies through the cell cycle. Chromosomes are the essential unit for cellular division and must be replicated, divided, and passed successfully to their daughter cells so as to ensure the genetic diversity and survival of their progeny.


Chromosomal recombination plays a vital role in genetic diversity. If these structures are manipulated incorrectly, through processes known as chromosomal instability and translocation, the cell may undergo mitotic catastrophe and die, or it may unexpectedly evade apoptosis leading to the progression of cancer.

In prokaryotes, DNA is usually arranged as a circle, which is tightly coiled in on itself, sometimes accompanied by one or more smaller, circular DNA molecules called plasmids. These small circular genomes are also found in mitochondria and chloroplasts, reflecting their bacterial origins.

Chromosomal aberrations are disruptions in the normal chromosomal content of a cell and are a major cause of genetic conditions in humans, such as Down syndrome. Some chromosome abnormalities do not cause disease in carriers, such as trans-locations, or chromosomal inversions, although they may lead to a higher chance of birthing a child with a chromosome disorder. Abnormal numbers of chromosomes or chromosome sets, aneuploidy, may be lethal or give rise to genetic disorders.

Source from: Wikipedia

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