noun, plural: autosomes
An autosome is any of the chromosome not considered as a sex chromosome. It is chiefly associated with the various metabolic functions of the cell except for sex determination. It occurs in pairs in somatic cells and singly in sex cells (gametes). In humans, a somatic cell will normally contain 23 pairs of chromosomes (total=46 chromosomes). Twenty-two (22) of these pairs will be autosomes, and only one of them will be a pair of sex chromosomes (the X and Y chromosomes).
All the DNA that autosomes bear are collectively called atDNA or auDNA. Mutation involving a gene or set of genes in an autosome resulting in a disease or manifestation of symptoms is the underlying cause of the different autosomal genetic disorders, e.g. trisomy 21.
Word origin: Greek autós ("self") + Greek soma ("body")
- autosomal (adjective, of, or pertaining to autosome)