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4: Genomes and chromosomes

Chapter 4 has two parts: genomes and chromosomes. Initial studies on genome structure used the kinetics of hybridization of nucleic acids to determine the bulk features of genomes, e.g. how big is a particular genome, how much is single-copy and how much is repeated, and how much of that genome is transcribed into nuclear or mRNA in a particular tissue. More detailed whole-genome mapping and sequencing projects are now revolutionizing biology. Some of the information on whole-genome sequences of bacteria, the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae, worms, flies and mammals (humans and mice) will be reviewed. All this genomic DNA is packaged into chromosomes, and Chapter 4 will also review some of their cytological features, and discuss their packaging into nucleosomes and higher order structure. Transitions between types of chromatin structure are fundamental to issues of gene regulation in eukaryotes; this will be explored in more biochemical detail in Part Four of the text.

Additional Readings

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