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noun, plural: karyotypes

(genetics) The characterization of the chromosome complement of a species (such as the shape, type, number, etc. of chromosomes).


To arrange and classify the chromosome complement of an organism based on the number, size, shape, and other characteristics of the chromosomes.


The karyotype of an organism is usually displayed in photomicrographs wherein chromosomes are arranged in homologous pairs, and in descending order of size and relative position of the centromere.

Karyotype is used to study chromosomal aberrations, cellular function, or taxonomic relationships, or to gather information about past evolutionary events.

Related forms: karyotypical (adjective), karyotyping (verb: present participle), karyotyped (verb: simple past).