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Quick quiz

What is the difference between metaphase and anaphase? What happens during telophase? What are the three main components of DNA? Is a bacterium eukaryotic or prokaryotic?

Contrast the organization of DNA in Eukaryotes and prokaryotes Describe chromosome structure and define homologous chromosomes Explain the effects of errors in base sequences of an allele

All living organisms contain DNA, although the DNA is made up of the same sugar-phosphate background, their organisation differs

In prokaryotes DNA molecules are smaller, circular and dont associate with proteins. Prokaryotic cells do not have chromosomes

In eukaryotes DNA molecules are larger, inear and are associated with proteins. Eukaryotes form chromosomes

There is about 2 metres of DNA in every cell. A chromosome is about 20 long. So, how does all that DNA fit into a chromosome?

There is about 2 metres of DNA in every cell. To fit in, the DNA is highly coiled. The DNA is first wound round proteins called histone proteins. The DNA-protein complex is then coiled.This coil is further looped and coiled before being packed into a chromosome. A vast amount of DNA is condensed into a single chromosome.

Structure of eukaryotic chromosomes

7 of 36

Boardworks Ltd 2008

Chromosomes can only be seen during cell division. This actually a duplicate pair of sister chromatids the DNA has replicated ready for cell division When visible, they are seen as two threads joined at a single point. The point where they join is a centromere.

Each chromosome contains only a single molecule of DNA. DNA contains genes

Each DNA molecule has hundreds of genes along its length.


Genes are a specific sequence of bases on the DNA molecule Each gene occupies a specific position along the molecule.

The number of chromosomes is always the same for a given species. But chromosomes number differs between species

There is usually an even number of chromosomes in adult cells.


This is because chromosomes occur in homologous pairs. E.g. humans have 46 chromosomes, or 23 homologous pairs.

Quick Check
Give 3 ways the DNA differs in a prokaryote to a eukaryote Name the protein associated with chromosomes and give its function What is the name given to the point at which sister chromatids are joined Define gene

DNA is smaller, circular and not associated with proteins. No chromosomes Histone DNA molecule is coiled around it to condense

Centromere
Specific sequence of bases along DNA coding for a specific polypeptide

One chromosome of each homologous pair derives from the mother (maternal chromosomes) and the other from the father (paternal chromosomes). Because: In sexual reproduction, offspring occur as a result of a egg-sperm fusion.Both the egg and the sperm contributes one set of 23 chromosomes to the offspring. Gametes are haploid they have half the diploid number why? These are form homologous pairs in the offspring. The total number of chromosomes in an individual is the diploid number.In humans, the diploid number is 46.

A homologous pair of chromosomes determine the same genetic characteristics (contain the same gene).
But: determining the same genetic characteristics is not the same as being identical

E.g. a homologous pair may each contain genes for eye colour and hair colour ie the same characteristic
BUT - One chromosome may carry the alleles for blue eyes and red hair, while the other may carry the alleles for green eyes and black hair.

Each gene exists in two or more forms (e.g. hair colour genes may be for black, red, brown, blonde hair) Each of these forms is an allele.Alleles are different forms of the same gene. Individuals inherit one allele from each parent. These alleles may be the same, or they may be different.

The base sequence of the different alleles will be different.

This may result in different amino acids being coded for. This may lead to a different polypeptide being coded for = a different protein.

Suppose the total length of all the DNA in a single human muscle cell is 2.3m.
If all the DNA were equally distributed between the chromosomes what would the length of DNA in each one be?

5 cm
2.3m 1.15m

What do you think the length of DNA in a human brain cell would be? Sperm cell?

1. 2.

In which three ways does prokaryotic DNA differ from eukaryotic DNA? smaller, form a circle, not associated with proteins What is the function of the protein found in a chromosome? To condense/coil the chromosome

3.

Suppose the total length of all the DNA in a single human muscle cell is 2.3m.
If all the DNA were equally distributed between the chromosomes what would the length of DNA in each one be? /46 What do you think the length of DNA in a human brain cell would be? same