Eukaryote Genetics

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•  Eukaryotic chromosomes are linear DNA molecules associated with histone proteins

The genetic material of eukaryotic cells consist of multiple linear molecules of DNA that are associated with histone proteins

  • The packaging of DNA with histone proteins results in a greatly compacted structure, allowing for more efficient storage  

Organisation of eukaryotic chromosomes can be summarised as follows:

  • DNA is complexed with eight histone proteins (an octamer) to form a complex called a nucleosome
  • Nucleosomes are linked by an additional histone protein (H1 histone) to form a string of chromatosomes
  • These then coil to form a solenoid structure (~6 chromatosomes per turn) which is condensed to form a 30 nm fibre
  • These fibres then form loops, which are compressed and folded around a protein scaffold to form chromatin
  • Chromatin will then supercoil during cell division to form chromosomes that are visible (when stained) under microscope

Organisation of DNA in Eukaryotic Chromosomes

Organisation of DNA