somatic chromosome

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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. In bacterial genetics, a closed circle of double-stranded DNA that contains the genetic material of the cell and is attached to the cell membrane; the bulk of this material forms a compact bacterial nucleus. adj., adj chromoso´mal.

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, 46 being the number normally present in humans, including 22 pairs of autosomes and the two sex chromosomes (XX or XY), which determine the sex of the organism. (See also heredity.)
Chromosome Analysis. This can be done on fetal cells obtained by amniocentesis or chorionic villus sampling, on lymphocytes from a blood sample, on skin cells from a biopsy, or on cells from products of conception such as an aborted fetus. The cells are then cultured in the laboratory until they divide. Cell division is arrested in mid-metaphase by the drug Colcemid. The chromosomes can be stained by one of several techniques that produce a distinct pattern of light and dark bands along the chromosomes, and each chromosome can be recognized by its size and banding pattern. The chromosomal characteristics of an individual are referred to as the karyotype. It is also possible to make a photomicrograph of a cell nucleus, cut it apart, and rearrange it so that the individual chromosomes are in order and labeled. The autosomes are numbered 1–22, roughly in order of decreasing length. The sex chromosomes are labeled X and Y. Karyotyping is useful in determining the presence of chromosome defects.

Before the chromosomes could be precisely identified they were placed in seven groups: A (chromosomes 1–3), B (4–5), C (6–12 and X), D (13–15), E (16–18), F (19–20), and G (21–22 and Y).
Chromosomal Abnormalities. The prevalence of chromosomal disorders cannot be fully and accurately determined because many of these disorders do not permit full embryonic and fetal development and therefore end in spontaneous abortion. About one in every 100 newborn infants do, however, have a gross demonstrable chromosomal abnormality. A large majority of cytogenetic abnormalities can be identified by cytogenetic analysis either before birth, by means of chorionic villus sampling or amniocentesis, or after birth.

Cytogenetic disorders with visible chromosomal abnormalities are evidenced by either an abnormal number of chromosomes or some alteration in the structure of one or more chromosomes. In the language of the geneticist, trisomy refers to the presence of an additional chromosome that is homologous with one of the existing pairs so that that particular chromosome is present in triplicate. An example of this type of disorder is a form of down syndrome (trisomy 21). Another example is patau's syndrome (trisomy 13), which produces severe anatomical malformations and profound mental retardation.

The term monosomy refers to the absence of one of a pair of homologous chromosomes. Monosomy involving an autosome usually results in the loss of too much genetic information to permit sufficient fetal development for a live birth. Either trisomy or monosomy involving the sex chromosomes yields relatively mild abnormalities.

A condition known as mosaicism results from an error in the distribution of chromosomes between daughter cells during an early embryonic cell division, producing two and sometimes three populations of cells with different chromosome numbers in the same individual. Mosaicism involving the sex chromosomes is not uncommon.

Other abnormal structural changes in the chromosome are consequences of some kind of chromosomal breakage, with either the loss or rearrangement of genetic material. translocation involves the transfer of a segment of one chromosome to another. inversion refers to a change in the sequence of genes along the chromosome, which occurs when there are two breaks in a chromosome and the segment between the breaks is reversed and reattached to the wrong ends. deletion occurs when a portion of a chromosome is lost. An example of this type of chromosomal abnormality is cri du chat syndrome, a deletion in the short arm of chromosome 5, marked by mental retardation and sometimes congenital heart defects. When deletion occurs at both ends of the chromosome, the two damaged ends can unite to form a circle and the rearrangement produces a ring chromosome. isochromosomes form when the centromere divides along the transverse plane rather than the normal long axis of the chromosome so that both arms are identical. All of the previously described structural abnormalities can affect both autosomal and sex chromosomes.

The causes of chromosomal errors are not completely understood. In some conditions such as Down syndrome, late maternal age seems to be a factor. Other factors may include the predisposition of chromosomes to nondisjunction (failure to separate during meiosis), exposure to radiation, and viruses.
homologous c's the chromosomes of a matching pair in the diploid complement that contain alleles of specific genes.
Ph1 chromosome (Philadelphia chromosome) an abnormality of chromosome 22, characterized by the translocation of genetic material from its long arm to chromosome 9, seen in the marrow cells of most patients with chronic myelogenous leukemia.
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 they are an unequal pair, the X and Y chromosomes.
somatic chromosome autosome.
X chromosome the female sex chromosome, being carried by half the male gametes and all female gametes; female diploid cells have two X chromosomes.
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.
Miller-Keane Encyclopedia and Dictionary of Medicine, Nursing, and Allied Health, Seventh Edition. © 2003 by Saunders, an imprint of Elsevier, Inc. All rights reserved.


(kro'mo-som?) [ chrom- + -some]
A linear strand made of DNA (and associated proteins in eukaryotic cells) that carries genetic information. Chromosomes stain deeply with basic dyes and are esp. conspicuous during mitosis. The normal diploid number of chromosomes is constant for each species. For humans, the diploid number is 46 (23 pairs in all somatic cells). In the formation of gametes (ovum and spermatozoon), the number is reduced to one half (haploid number); i.e., the ovum and sperm each contain 23 chromosomes. Of these, 22 are autosomes and one is the sex chromosome (X or Y). At fertilization, the chromosomes from the sperm unite with the chromosomes from the ovum. The sex of the embryo is determined by the sperm. The ovum always contributes an X chromosome. The sperm may contribute an X or a Y chromosome. An embryo with XX chromosomes will be female; an embryo with XY chromosomes will be male. See: Barr body; centromere; chromatid; cytogenetics; dominant; gene; heredity; karyotype; mutation; recessive; telomere

accessory chromosome

An unpaired sex chromosome.
See: sex chromosome

banded chromosome

A chromosome specially stained to delineate bands of various widths on its regions or loci. This facilitates analysis and investigation of genes and gene-related illnesses.

bivalent chromosome

A double chromosome resulting from the conjugation of two homologous chromosomes in synapsis, which occurs during the first meiotic division.

homologous chromosome

One of a pair of chromosomes that contain genes for the same traits; one is maternal in origin, the other paternal.

Philadelphia chromosome

An abnormal chromosome 22 in which there is translocation of the distal portion of its long arm to chromosome 9. It is found in leukocyte cultures of many patients with chronic myelocytic leukemia. The Philadelphia chromosome was the first chromosomal change found to be characteristic of a human disease.

sex chromosome

One of two chromosomes, the X and Y chromosomes, that determine sex in humans and that carry the genes for sex-linked characteristics.

somatic chromosome


X chromosome

One of the sex chromosomes; women have two (XX) present in all somatic cells, and men have one (XY). Characteristics transmitted on the X chromosome are said to be X-linked or sex-linked. The human X chromosome, sequenced in 2005, has approximately 1100 genes.

Y chromosome

The male-determining member of a pair of human chromosomes (XY) present in the somatic cells of all male humans.
Medical Dictionary, © 2009 Farlex and Partners
References in periodicals archive ?
The somatic chromosome number was 10 for all the accessions and only one type of karyotype formula was observed (10st).
In the species studied to date, a somatic chromosome number of 28 was found in corals belonging to four families placed in three suborders according to traditional morphological criteria (Wells 1956), or in two clades that diverged more than 240 M.Y.B.P.
Several cytogenetic studies have been conducted to karyotype the somatic chromosomes of tetraploid alfalfa (Agarwal and Gupta, 1983; Falistocco, 1987; Schlarbaum et al., 1988; Falistocco et al., 1995; Bauchan and Hossain, 2001a,b; Bauchan et al., 2002).
Means for somatic chromosome number and pollen germination, and presence of 2n pollen and pod production for three genotypes of MU-81 Lotus corniculatus, diploid L.
Somatic chromosomes were studied from root-tips taken from the sprouted seed according to the techniques described earlier (Jauhar, 1993; Almouslem et al., 1998).
For somatic chromosome counts, one cm long, fresh, plump root tips of haploid seedlings were pretreated with ice water for 24 h, fixed in a mixture of 95% (v/v) ethanol and glacial acetic acid (3:1 by volume) and stained with Feulgen (Jauhar, 1993).
of plants Somatic chromosome no.[dagger] Resistant Susceptible Euploid (2n = 42) 64 25 [dagger] Monotelodisomic (2n - 42t) 74 26[double dagger] Ditelosomic (2n - 42tt) 15 [double dagger] 7
In many cases, homologous meiotic and somatic chromosomes demonstrated similarities in TE patterning.
The somatic chromosomes were prepared according to the conventional technique for the of mitotic's chromosomas (12), both in control and treated groups.
Karyotypic studies of Carthamus species has been very limited as it is difficult to resolve the somatic chromosomes because of the poor stain ability, stickiness of chromosome, tendency of chromosome to overlap at metaphase and diffused appearance of primary and secondary constriction [4].
(c) If the mixture of the sperm elements and the contents of the ovum results in a homogenous mixture resulting in the combination of 23 pairs of somatic chromosomes and a pair of sex chromosomes, then human life begins: If the pair of sex chromosomes is x and y, the fetus develops into a male; if the pair of sex chromosomes is