W chromosome

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Related to W chromosome: heterogametic, Z chromosome

sex chro·mo·somes

the pair of chromosomes responsible for sex determination. In humans and most animals, the sex chromosomes are designated X and Y; females have two X chromosomes, males have one X and one Y chromosome In certain birds, insects, and fish the sex chromosomes are designated Z and W; males have two Z chromosomes, females may have one Z and one W chromosome, or one Z and no W chromosome.
Synonym(s): gonosome

W chromosome

the sex chromosomes of certain insects, birds, and fish. Females of such animals are heterogametic and have one W and one Z chromosome, whereas males are homogametic and have two Z chromosomes. The ZZ-ZW nomenclature was chosen to differentiate this system from the XX-XY system, which occurs in humans and various other animals and in which the female is homogametic and the male is heterogametic.


in animal cells, a structure in the nucleus, containing a linear thread of deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA), which transmits genetic information and is associated with ribonucleic acid and histones.
During cell division the material composing the chromosome is compactly coiled, making it visible with appropriate staining and permitting its movement in the cell with minimal entanglement. Each organism of a species is normally characterized by the same number of chromosomes in its somatic cells. The diploid numbers (number of total chromosomes per cell) are cattle—60, sheep—54, horse—64, donkey—62, pig—38, dog—78, cat—38, human—46. The chromosomes are arranged in pairs and one of the pairs is the sex chromosomes (XX or XY), which determines the sex of the organism. See also heredity.

compound chromosome
a genetic engineering procedure which produces two chromosomes in one of which the left arms of the two original chromosomes are joined together and the two original right arms are also joined together; used in genetic control of insect populations.
homologous c's
the chromosomes of a matching pair in the diploid complement that contain alleles of specific genes.
lampbrush chromosome
so named because of the bristling appearance given them by many open loops of chromatin along the extended chromosome.
ring chromosome
a chromosome in which both ends have been lost (deletion) and the two broken ends have reunited to form a ring-shaped figure.
sex c's
the chromosomes responsible for determination of the sex of the individual that develops from a zygote, in mammals constituting an unequal pair, the X and the Y chromosome.
somatic chromosome
submetacentric chromosome
W chromosome
sex chromosome in animals such as poultry in which the female is the heterogametic state, the male has the ZZ genotype and the female the ZW genotype.
X chromosome
the female sex chromosome, being carried by half the male gametes and all female gametes; female diploid cells have two X chromosomes, the male has the XY genotype.
Y chromosome
the male sex chromosome, being carried by half the male gametes and none of the female gametes; male diploid cells have an X and a Y chromosome; females carry the XX genotype.
Z chromosome
sex chromosome in animals, such as poultry, in which the female is the heterogametic sex; the male has the ZZ genotype and the female the ZW genotype.