Chromosome, Eukaryotic - Research Article from Macmillan Science Library: Genetics

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Basic Organization

In 1883, Wilhelm Roux proposed that the filaments observed when cell nuclei were stained with basic dyes were the bearers of the hereditary factors. Heinrich Wilhelm Waldeyer later coined the word chromosome ("colored body") for these filaments. The eukaryotic chromosome now is defined as a discrete unit of the genome, visible only during cell division, that contains genes arranged in a linear sequence. Eukaryotic organisms contain much more genetic information than prokaryotes. For example, the eukaryotic organism Saccharomyces cerevisiae (baker's yeast) contains 3.5 times more DNA in its haploid state than the prokaryotic Escherichia coli, while higher vertebrate cells contain more than 1,000 times the DNA.

The basic component of the eukaryotic chromosome is its DNA, which contains all of the genetic material responsible for encoding a particular organism. Genes are arranged in a linear array on the chromosome. A major distinction between eukaryotic and prokaryotic chromosomes is that...

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This section contains 2,792 words
(approx. 10 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Chromosome, Eukaryotic Encyclopedia Article
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Macmillan Science Library: Genetics
Chromosome, Eukaryotic from Macmillan Science Library: Genetics. Copyright © 2001-2006 by Macmillan Reference USA, an imprint of the Gale Group. All rights reserved.
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