What is a Chromosome?

DNA is packed into the structures (similar to threads) the nucleus of a cell. DNA is coiled many times around the proteins known as histones that support the structure in each of the chromosomes. They are coiled very firmly.

The chromosome is not visible in a cell’s nucleus, even under the microscope. It is the case when the chromosomes are not dividing. The DNA, which forms the chromosomes, are more firmly packed in the event of cell division process. They are then visible under the microscope. What we know about the chromosomes are known under the cell division process.

Every chromosome has a constriction point referred to as the centromere. It divides the chromosomes into two parts or “arms”. The short one is known as “p arm” and the long arm is called “P arm.” Depending on the centromere each chromes is shaped differently.

Fact Sheet: Chromosome

  1. In the case of plant and animals, the DNA is packed in structures similar to threads. The DNA floats around in the event of bacteria.
  2. The length of the DNA is packed by many wraps, which are located around the proteins known as histones. It forms nucleosomes.
  3. The nucleosomes are packed in a coil shape, which creates chromatin loops.
  4. The chromatin loops are wrapped around each other, which forms a chromosome.
  5. Every chromosome has two main parts, the short arm (p arms) and the long arm (q arms).
  6. We have a total of 23 pairs of chromosome. One set of which comes from females and the other from the males.
  7. One pair of the 23 pairs is known as the sex chromosomes, and they are divided into XX (female) and XY(male).
  8. The rest of the 22 pairs are called autosomes, which are same for both male and female.
  9. Each of the DNA is responsible for forming chromosomes has thousands of genes.
  10. At the end of every chromosome in our body, there are sections known as telomeres in the DNA.