Basic Structure of Chromosomes

1. Chromosomes are thread like bodies present in nuclei of animals and plants. 2. They are covered with a SHEATH made of proteins. 3. Inside this sheath is present a granular matter referred as ‘matrix’. 4. Inside the matrix there are two threads called ‘Chromonemata’ which are the subunits of chromatids & are present during Prophase.

5. At Metaphase, the chromosome consists of two symmetrical strands called Chromatids. 6. Each chromosome possess a distinct constriction called ‘Centromere’ (Primary constriction), divides into 2 parts and it gets attached to the spindle network. 7. The ends of chromosome are termed as ‘Telomeres’ and it protects from deterioration or from being destroyed. 8. Some chromosomes have another constriction called “Secondary constriction”

Chemical composition of chromosome

Substance
DNA Histone proteins Non-Histone proteins 50 %

Amount
40 % approx

8.5 %

Metallic ions like Mg++, In traces Ca++ etc….

DNA packaging in Chromosome

Chromosome: The packaging and coiling
• The chromatin fibre is actually a very long DNA strand coiled again and again. • The coiling is strictly according to the plan. • The DNA strand makes loops around a polymer of 8 histone protein molecules. • Each such histone & DNA unit is called a ‘nucleosome’ • This coiled strand is coiled repeatedly, much like a telephone cord till it becomes the chromosome familiar.

Chromosome Number
The number of chromosomes is constant for a particular species. Each species has its own chromosome no.. Size of organisms has no relation with its chromosome number e.g. Butterfly has 446 chromosomes than Man (46)

Common Name

Chromosome No.

Animals:
1. Round worm 2. Mosquito 3. Fruit Fly 4.Human Beings 5.Butter Fly 6.Dog 7.Monkey 8.Mouse 2 6 8 46 446 78 54 40

Plants:
1. Bread Mould 2. Onion 3. Wheat 4. Sugar Cane 5. Grass 2 16 42 80 265

Chromosome Size
• Chromosome size is usually measured at metaphase when they are clearly visible. visible • Plant generally have larger chromosomes as compared to animals animals. • Chromosomes of Monocotyledonous plants are larger than Dicotyledonous plants plants. • Chromosomes have a size range of 0.20 – 0.50 µm • Chromosome vary in size from species to species and remain relatively constant for a particular species. • Human chromosomes are up to 6 µm in length.

Chromosome Shape
• Usually observed at mitotic anaphase. The shape of chromosome may be: 1). Telocentric: centromere at 1 end makes chromosome rod shaped. 2). Acrocentric: centromere near 1 end divides it into very short and a long arm. 3).Submetacentric: centromere near centre gives ‘L’ or ‘J’ shaped structure. 4). Metacentric: centromere at centre giving ‘V’ shaped structure.

Depending upon the position of centromere

• MONOCENTRIC: If chromosome has only 1 centromere then it is called MONOCENTRIC. • DI-CENTRIC: while if there are 2 centromeres, it is called DI-CENTRIC • HOLOCENTRIC: If centromere is diffused then the chromosome is called HOLOCENTRIC.

• POLY-CENTRIC: if there are more centromeres, the chromosomes is known as POLY-CENTRIC. • ACENTRIC: If centromere is absent, the chromosome is known as ACENTRIC