Chromosome Morphology

Each functional chromosome has a centromere, where spindle fibers attach, and two telomeres that stabilize the chromosome (see Figure 2.7). Chromosomes are classified into four basic types: metacentric, in which the centromere is located approximately in the middle, and so the chromosome has two arms of equal length; submetacentric, in which the centromere is displaced toward one end, creating a long arm and a short arm; acrocentric, in which the centromere is near one end, producing a long arm and a knob, or satellite, at the other; and telocentric, in which the centromere is at or very near the end of the chromosome (see

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