DNA Structure and Function

Chapter 6

6.2 Chromosomes 

A eukaryotic chromosome is a molecule of DNA together with associated proteins  Chromosome
‡ Structure made of DNA and associated proteins ‡ Carries part or all of a cell¶s genetic information

Chromosome Structure 

Sister chromatid
‡ One of two attached members of a duplicated eukaryotic chromosome 

‡ Constricted region in a eukaryotic chromosome where sister chromatids are attached

Chromosome Structure 
Proteins organize DNA structurally
‡ Allow chromosomes to pack tightly 

‡ Type of protein that structurally organizes eukaryotic chromosomes 

‡ A length of DNA wound around a spool of histone proteins

Chromosome Structure

Chromosome Number 
A eukaryotic cell¶s DNA is divided into a characteristic number of chromosomes  Chromosome number
‡ Sum of all chromosomes in a cell of a given type ‡ A human body cell has 23 pairs of chromosomes 

‡ Cells having two of each type of chromosome characteristic of the species (2n)


Examples of Chromosome Number

Types of Chromosomes 
There are two types of eukaryotic chromosomes: autosomes and sex chromosomes  Autosomes
‡ Paired chromosomes with the same length, shape, centromere location, and genes ‡ Any chromosome other than a sex chromosome 

Sex chromosomes
‡ Members of a pair of chromosomes that differ between males and females

Sex Chromosomes: Sex Determination in Humans

diploid reproductive cell in female

diploid reproductive cell in male

XX eggs X X


sperm X Y



union of sperm and egg at fertilization

Stepped Art Fig. 6-3a, p. 104


Karyotyping reveals characteristics of an individual¶s chromosomes  Karyotype
‡ Image of an individual¶s complement of chromosomes arranged by size, length, shape, and centromere location

Constructing a Karyotype

Key Players 
Erwin Chargaff, Rosalind Franklin, Maurice Wilkins, James Watson, and Francis Crick

The Double Helix 
A DNA molecule consists of two strands of nucleotide monomers running in opposite directions and coiled into a double helix  DNA nucleotide
‡ A five-carbon sugar (deoxyribose) ‡ Three phosphate groups ‡ One nitrogen-containing base (adenine, thymine, guanine, or cytosine)

The Double Helix 

Two double-helix strands are held together by hydrogen bonds between nucleotide bases  Chargaff¶s rules
‡ Bases of the two DNA strands in a double helix pair in a consistent way: A = T and C = G ‡ Proportions of A and G vary among species

Patterns of Base Pairing 
The order of bases (DNA sequence) varies among species and among individuals
‡ Each species has characteristic DNA sequences 

DNA sequence
‡ The order of nucleotide bases in a strand of DNA

6.4 DNA Replication and Repair 
A cell replicates its DNA before it divides  Each strand of the double helix serves as a template for synthesis of a new, complementary strand of DNA  DNA replication results in two double-stranded DNA molecules identical to the parent

DNA Replication and Repair 
During DNA replication, the double-helix unwinds  DNA polymerase uses each strand as a template to assemble new, complementary strands of DNA from free nucleotides  DNA ligase seals any gaps to form a continuous strand

1) The two strands of a DNA molecule are complementary: their nucleotides match up according to base-pairing rules (G to C, T to A).

2) As replication starts, the two strands of DNA unwind at many sites along the length of the molecule.

3) Each parent strand serves as a template for assembly of a new DNA strand from nucleotides, according to base-pairing rules.

4) DNA ligase seals any gaps that remain between bases of the ³new´ DNA, so a continuous strand forms. The base sequence of each half-old, half-new DNA molecule is identical to that of the parent.

Stepped Art Fig. 6-8, p. 108

DNA Replication: The Double Helix

Checking for Mistakes 

DNA repair mechanisms fix damaged DNA
‡ Proofreading by DNA polymerase corrects most base-pairing errors 

DNA repair mechanisms
‡ Any of several processes by which enzymes repair DNA damage


Uncorrected errors in DNA replication may become mutations  Mutation
‡ A permanent change in DNA sequence

6.5 Cloning Adult Animals 

Reproductive cloning technologies produce an exact genetic copy of an individual (clone)  Reproductive cloning
‡ Technology that produces genetically identical individuals

Somatic Cell Nuclear Transfer 
Somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT)
‡ Method of reproductive cloning in which nuclear DNA from an adult somatic cell is transferred into an unfertilized, enucleated egg 

Therapeutic cloning
‡ Using SCNT to produce human embryos for research

Somatic Cell Nuclear Transfer

Clone produced by somatic cell nuclear transfer

Sign up to vote on this title
UsefulNot useful