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Telocentric chromosome

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Definition

noun, plural: telocentric chromosomes

A chromosome whose centromere is placed very close to the end of the chromosome


Supplement

The centromere is the dense, constricted region in a chromosome. It contains highly-specialized repetitive DNA sequences (e.g. satellite DNA) that are packaged into heterochromatin. The centromere serves as the site for kinetochore assembly and therefore it is essential during the alignment of the chromosomes at the metaphase plate and the subsequent segregation of chromosomes during cellular division. The presence of the centromere results in the characterization of the chromosomal arms. The arm that is relatively shorter is called p whereas the one that is longer is called q. Based on the position of the centromere, the chromosome may be described as metacentric, submetacentric, acrocentric, telocentric, subtelocentric, and holocentric.

A telocentric chromosome is a chromosome whose centromere is located at one end. The centromere is located very close to the end of the chromosome that the p arms would not, or barely, be visible. A chromosome that has a centromere closer to the end than the center is described as subtelocentric.

Both telocentric and subtelocentric chromosomes have not been observed in humans.


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