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By Dr Tushar Chauhan September 22, 2022

10 Interesting chromosome facts

A chromosome is a complex network of DNA and protein where all the nuclear DNA of a cell is located. 

Image credit: National cancer institute

Image credit: National cancer institute

Here are the 10 interesting facts about chromosomes you may like.

Three parts of a chromosome are telomeres, centromere and arms.


Structure of a chromosome

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Where human and other organisms contain linear chromosomes, only bacteria contains a circular chromosome.


Structural variability

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Different organisms have different numbers of chromosomes. For example, humans have 46 and mice have 40 chromosomes.


Variable numbers

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Two types of chromosomes are autosomes and sex chromosomes. Humans have 22 pairs of autosomes and a single pair of sex chromosomes.


Autosome vs sex chromosomes

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Diploid cells have chromosomes in pairs while haploid cells have single chromosomes. In humans, all body cells are diploid except germ cells.


Diploid vs haploid

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Sex chromosomes are so crucial as it helps decide the fate of a fetus as male or female. 


Importance of sex chromosomes

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Autosomes carry genes that help a cell in development, reproduction and growth. 


Importance of autosomes

Image credit: National cancer institute

Two types of regions on a chromosome are heterochromatin (dark and tightly packed) and euchromatic (light and loosely packed).



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The Euchromatin region is transcriptionally active while the heterochromatin region is transcriptionally inactive.


Transcriptional on/off

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We can see chromosomes under a microscope which is known as karyotyping. 


Visible to use

Image credit: National cancer institute

A typical human karyotype is shown here.

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