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Giant chromosomes

Giant chromosomes

P657/0030

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Credit

HERVE CONGE, ISM / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY HERVE CONGE, ISM / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

Giant chromosomes. Light micrograph of giant (polytene) chromosomes from midge (Chironomus sp.) larva's salivary glands. These chromosomes are formed from repeated rounds of DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid) replication without nuclear division. A process known as endoreduplication. Identical strands sit side by side. The characteristic banding pattern corresponds to areas of high (red) and moderate (blue) DNA density. The polytene chromosomes increase cell volume and metabolic rate, as there are more genes to be expressed. The size of the chromosomes also allows for easy study by scientists. Magnification: x570 when printed at 10 centimetres wide.

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