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Unformatted text preview: Reproduction and Chromosome Transmission
General Features of Chromosomes General information The cellular structures that contain the genetic material are the chromosomes. The structure of prokaryotic and eukaryotic chromosomes differs considerably, although both are comprised of long chains of DNA. Prokaryotic cells, such as the bacteria, typically have a single, circular chromosome located within an area of the cell called the nucleoid (Figure 3.1a). Prokaryotic cells also possess a cell wall. Eukaryotic cells (fungi, protists, plants, animals) contain internal compartments, called organelles, which have specialized functions (Figure 3.1b). The nucleus of eukaryotic cells contains the majority of the DNA. Other organelles, such as the mitochondria and chloroplast, contain small amounts of DNA. Eukaryotic chromosomes are examined cytologically to yield a karyotype. The field of cytogenetics involves the microscopic examination of chromosomes. In actively dividing cells, the chromosomes are condensed, allowing an easier examination of their structure and number....
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