Dictionary > Chromosome


chromosome definition

n., plural: chromosomes
Definition: a cell structure that bears the genetic material

Chromosomes Definition

noun, plural: chromosomes. Word origin: Greek chroma (“color”) + soma (“body”). What are chromosomes? A chromosome is a structure within the cell that bears the genetic material as a threadlike linear strand of DNA bonded to various proteins in the nucleus of eukaryotic cells, or as a circular strand of DNA (or RNA in some viruses) in the cytoplasm of prokaryotes and in the mitochondrion and chloroplast of certain eukaryotes

Some chromosomes are homologous; others are nonhomologous. Find out how to tell them apart. Join our Forum: Difference Between Homologous Chromosomes and Sister Chromatids. Discover more!

More About Chromosomes

In eukaryotes, the chromosomes appear as threadlike strands that condense into thicker structures and aligns on the metaphase plate during mitosis. Humans normally have 23 pairs of chromosomes, each with a characteristic length and banding pattern. Chromosomes occur in pairs (in most somatic cells) since one member of each pair comes from the mother and the other from the father. In most prokaryotes, the chromosome is usually a circular strand of DNA; hence, the entire genome is carried on only one chromosome. In viruses, the chromosome may appear as a short linear or circular structure containing the DNA or RNA molecule often lacking any structural proteins.




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1. What is a chromosome?
2. In eukaryotes, where can you find the chromosome?
3. In bacteria, the chromosomes are found in the ...
4. How many pairs of chromosomes are there in a human cell?
5. Their chromosome is typically a single circular strand of genetic material

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This worksheet is useful in helping the students assess their familiarity with the different parts of the cell, both the eukaryotic and the prokaryotic types. This is useful in genetics as it helps gauge the student’s knowledge of the difference between the two cell types, especially in terms of the location of the genetic material.

Subjects: Genetics & Evolution, Cell Biology
Lesson: Introduction to Genetics
Grades: 9th, 10th, 11th, 12th
Type: Worksheet

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