Definition of Chromosome duplication

Chromosome duplication: Part of a chromosome in duplicate. A particular kind of mutation involving the production of one or more copies of any piece of DNA, including sometimes a gene or even an entire chromosome.

A duplication is the opposite of a deletion.

Duplications have been important in the evolution of the human genome (and the genomes of many other organisms). Duplications typically arise from an event termed unequal crossing-over (recombination) that occurs between misaligned homologous chromosomes during meiosis (germ cell formation). The chance of this event happening is a function of the degree of sharing of repetitive elements between two chromosomes. The recombination products of such an event are a duplication at the site of the exchange and a reciprocal deletion. A remarkable class of duplications in which the duplicated region has popped up far away from home base has also been discovered.


Last Editorial Review: 6/14/2012

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