<< Chapter < Page Chapter >> Page >
By the end of this section, you will be able to:
  • Describe the structure of prokaryotic and eukaryotic genomes
  • Distinguish between chromosomes, genes, and traits
  • Describe the mechanisms of chromosome compaction

The continuity of life from one cell to another has its foundation in the reproduction of cells by way of the cell cycle. The cell cycle    is an orderly sequence of events that describes the stages of a cell’s life from the division of a single parent cell to the production of two new daughter cells. The mechanisms involved in the cell cycle are highly regulated.

Genomic dna

Before discussing the steps a cell must undertake to replicate, a deeper understanding of the structure and function of a cell’s genetic information is necessary. A cell’s DNA, packaged as a double-stranded DNA molecule, is called its genome    . In prokaryotes, the genome is composed of a single, double-stranded DNA molecule in the form of a loop or circle ( [link] ). The region in the cell containing this genetic material is called a nucleoid. Some prokaryotes also have smaller loops of DNA called plasmids that are not essential for normal growth. Bacteria can exchange these plasmids with other bacteria, sometimes receiving beneficial new genes that the recipient can add to their chromosomal DNA. Antibiotic resistance is one trait that often spreads through a bacterial colony through plasmid exchange.

The illustration shows a prokaryotic cell with a single, circular chromosome floating free in the cytoplasm.
Prokaryotes, including bacteria and archaea, have a single, circular chromosome located in a central region called the nucleoid.

In eukaryotes, the genome consists of several double-stranded linear DNA molecules ( [link] ). Each species of eukaryotes has a characteristic number of chromosomes in the nuclei of its cells. Human body cells have 46 chromosomes, while human gametes (sperm or eggs) have 23 chromosomes each. A typical body cell, or somatic cell, contains two matched sets of chromosomes, a configuration known as diploid    . The letter n is used to represent a single set of chromosomes; therefore, a diploid organism is designated 2 n . Human cells that contain one set of chromosomes are called gametes, or sex cells; these are eggs and sperm, and are designated 1n , or haploid    .

The 23 chromosomes from a human female are each dyed a different color so they can be distinguished. During most of the cell cycle, each chromosome is elongated into a thin strand that folds over on itself, like a piece of spaghetti.  The chromosomes fill the entire spherical nucleus, but each one is contained in a different part, resulting in a multi-colored sphere. During mitosis, the chromosomes condense into thick, compact bars, each a different color. These bars can be arranged in numerical order to form a karyotype. There are two copies of each chromosome in the karyotype..
There are 23 pairs of homologous chromosomes in a female human somatic cell. The condensed chromosomes are viewed within the nucleus (top), removed from a cell in mitosis and spread out on a slide (right), and artificially arranged according to length (left); an arrangement like this is called a karyotype. In this image, the chromosomes were exposed to fluorescent stains for differentiation of the different chromosomes. A method of staining called “chromosome painting” employs fluorescent dyes that highlight chromosomes in different colors. (credit: National Human Genome Project/NIH)

Matched pairs of chromosomes in a diploid organism are called homologous (“same knowledge”) chromosomes . Homologous chromosomes are the same length and have specific nucleotide segments called genes in exactly the same location, or locus    . Genes, the functional units of chromosomes, determine specific characteristics by coding for specific proteins. Traits are the variations of those characteristics. For example, hair color is a characteristic with traits that are blonde, brown, or black.

Questions & Answers

What's the main function of the CELL
Victor Reply
Is the smallest unit of an living things
Chanda Reply
Okay
Jason
What is a cell
Jason Reply
A cell is the basic unit of life.
Bernard
what is the photosynthesis
Brian Reply
describe cellular event during meiosis
Ruth Reply
what is reproduction
Ruth
reproduction is the process by which living organisms give birth to new offsprings of the same kinds
Bernard
Reproduction is a process by which organisms give rise to new members of their species
Fru
Reproduction is the process whereby living organisms produces the young ones of their own kind to ensure continuity of life
Eunice
what are the example of photosynthesis
Gamshe Reply
Is how plant covert sugar and energy, air and sunlight into energy to grow
Timileyin
An example of photosynthesis is how plants convert sugar and energy from water, air and sunlight into energy to grow.
Bernard
Pls how fertilization occurs in the womb
Rebecca
Pls am asking how does fertilization occurs in the womb
Rebecca
An egg is released in the ovary of a woman during ovulation. in the presence of a sperm this egg cell fuses with the sperm cell to form a zygote ( fertilization) this zygote now moves thru the fallopian tube down to the womb where implantation takes place. the zygote develops thru to a baby
Fru
how are you everyone in here
Brian
what is biology
Odion
My cordial salam to everybody. I have a question to all. What do you mean by plasma membrane?
Mahmud Reply
Plasma membrane or Cell membrane is the outer layer of tissue surrounding the whole or part of an organ. in addition, it is the outer flexible or semi-flexible covering or waterproofing whose primary function is to exclude water.(usually in plants and animals).
Job
I have a question .... Why cell wall is not present in animals cells and why it is present in plants cells?
ShAmy
what is glucose
Sisay
how alkali metal form
Puskal Reply
what is a cytosol
Siddeeqah Reply
cytosol is the internal fluid of the cell and a large part of cell were metabolism occur
Bernard
u are right dear.
Job
what is cell
Prince Reply
I think that cell is structural unit of our body. Because I have come to know that cell is the structure and biological function of an organism in the eye of scientists.
Mahmud
Cell is the fundamental, structural and functional unit of life
Winifred
Absolutely you are right. But what do you mean by life?
Mahmud
cell is the basic unit of life
Siddeeqah
life is the study of living organisms
Bernard
Cell is the basic, structural and functional unit of life. therefor no living organisms exist without a cell or a healthy cell.
Job
synthesis of 1 molecules of glucose requires
Purvesh Reply
what is the chemical composition of water
Abigail Reply
h20
Rita
h20
Asad
H20
Mathews
H2o
Bernard
H2O
Michelle
H2O
Emzzy
What is skeleton
Emzzy
skeleton is an internal or external framework of bones
Michelle
Skeleton is the structural frame work of the body
Niimat
Skeleton is the internal bony framework of the body of living organisms.
Job
what is ecology
Iyiola
What is a lymph?
Karisto
Oh, how's is it going..
Brian Reply
not too good
Monique
hy
Adeola
hi
Imamkasim
hi
Veronica
Any one else taking Bio 1406 with Stephanie Martin?
Veronica
where is it ?
ShAmy
am here Veronica
iyota
Not bad
Winifred
Part of compound microscope
Bakish Reply
a. body b. stage clip c. adjacent knob d. arm e. eye piece
Kpodo
E
Rita
give five difference between worker and queen bee.
Imamkasim
How do u know when you want to urinate
Akpo Reply
how do you know when you want to urinate
Akpo
I don't know please explain
Coded
As the bladder fills up .. the signals are sent to the brain specifying that its filling up and should be emptied and the fuller it gets, the more signals/ alerts are sent to brain ...leading to the urge to urinate .... to go pee
Khalida
OK thank you
Coded
hello
Issiya
hi
Abigail
wat
Gamshe

Get the best Biology course in your pocket!





Source:  OpenStax, Biology. OpenStax CNX. Feb 29, 2016 Download for free at http://cnx.org/content/col11448/1.10
Google Play and the Google Play logo are trademarks of Google Inc.

Notification Switch

Would you like to follow the 'Biology' conversation and receive update notifications?

Ask